Tag Archives | Agriculture

Sevices 2014

Basic Skills, not protectionism, key to sustaining today’s High Income, Services-based economies

Suddenly, manufacturing and protectionism have become political issues across the Western world.  President Trump has already formed a Manufacturing Council with the aim of “reshoring jobs” from outside the USA, and is threatening to introduce import duties of up to 45%. The problem, however, as the chart shows, is that this will not help the people who […]

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Falling cotton/polyester prices create ‘deflation shock’ for consumers

Cotton prices appear to be collapsing again due to the surpluses created by central bank stimulus policies since 2009.  As the chart shows, these had initially caused prices to soar to levels not seen since the American Civil War: They reached 230c/lb in March 2011, nearly double the post-1982 peak of 117c/lb in May 1995 (blue […]

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Vertical farming brings food to the cities

Current farming techniques haven’t changed much over thousands of years. Yet the people who eat the food that comes from farms no longer live next door to them. So the food has to be transported ever-greater distances – sometimes thousands of kilometres – to reach the market. A new business model is badly needed to […]

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US farmland enters the New Normal

The downturn in the US housing market is turning out to have a silver lining, according to the Wall Street Journal. It describes how farmers in some areas are now able to buy back land previously sold for housing development, and return it to agricultural use: • Residential land value has fallen 70% since the […]

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Agriculture – the new focus for chemical demand

A first visit to Cambodia. I’m here en route to our Asian Conference in Bangkok, and the picture shows the famous line of Buddhas at Angkor Wat. But the main topic of conversation when talking to local people is the high cost of food and energy. With wages averaging $30 – $35 a week, these […]

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