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Author:Cowley, Cortney 

Working Paper
Drought and Cattle: Implications for Ranchers

Drought has occurred with greater intensity and frequency in many areas of the United States in recent years. Despite the growing concern surrounding the impacts of drought on the agricultural sector, few studies have quantified the impact of drought on the cattle industry. In this paper, we estimate the impacts of drought on cattle herd management, hay production, hay prices, and farm income in the United States from 2000 to 2022. Our results indicate that drought negatively impacts hay production and results in higher hay prices. Drought also contributes to herd liquidation and is ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 23-06

Journal Article
Tight Labor Markets Have Been a Key Contributor to High Food Inflation

Food inflation remains higher than measures of overall inflation, and labor markets have been tight. We find that processed food products have driven recent increases in grocery prices, and we argue that labor market tightness affects the prices of these labor-intensive products in particular through increases in production and distribution costs. Food inflation at grocery stores could remain elevated if price pressures on the supply side persist and demand for food at home remains strong.
Economic Bulletin

Journal Article
The Outlook for Farmland Values amid Higher Interest Rates

In 2018, the spread between returns to farmland owners and benchmark interest rates narrowed to its lowest level in more than a decade in the Tenth Federal Reserve District. At the same time, farmland sales increased in some states for the first time in several years. Together, the reduced spread and indications of increased sales in some regions suggest the potential for lower farmland values moving forward.
Economic Bulletin , Issue April 10, 2019 , Pages 3

Journal Article
Commodity Prices Have Limited Influence on U.S. Food Inflation

Food prices increased at the fastest pace in more than two decades from July 2021 to July 2022. We show that this increase has not been driven by commodity prices but by an increase in consumer spending on food at home and increases in costs along the supply chain. Our results suggest that food inflation could ease if consumers shift more purchases back to food service establishments and if costs in food processing and marketing abate. Conversely, food inflation could remain high if broader measures of inflation persist.
Economic Bulletin , Issue September 23, 2022 , Pages 4

Journal Article
Mapping Stress in Agricultural Lending

Repayment rates for farm loans have declined every quarter since the second quarter of 2013, suggesting heightened stress in agricultural lending. If repayment rates continue to decline?and the outlook for the agricultural sector remains downbeat?agricultural banks could become less able to lend to creditworthy farm borrowers. Thus, declining repayment rates could lead to adverse outcomes for agricultural banks, farmers, and the rural economies they serve. {{p}} Cortney Cowley uses data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City?s Ag Credit Survey to model and map areas with the highest ...
Economic Review , Issue Q III , Pages 27-51

Journal Article
The Dispersion of Farmland Values in the Tenth District

Cortney Cowley examines the widening dispersion of farmland values in the Tenth Federal Reserve District and finds that land quality, climate, and commodity sales have played important roles.
Economic Review , Issue Q IV , Pages 29-67

Journal Article
Labor Constraints and Strong Demand Are Driving Robust Food Services Inflation

Although headline inflation has slowed in recent months, inflation for core services has remained elevated since the first half of 2021. Inflation for food services in particular has been significantly higher than inflation for goods and other services. We argue that food services inflation has been elevated by the sector’s fast rebound in expenditures and its high dependency on labor amid labor shortages and elevated labor costs.
Economic Bulletin

Working Paper
Examining the Relationships between Land Values and Credit Availability

Given the changes made to the agricultural lending system since the 1980s farm crisis, we investigate the current effects of credit availability on land values. Using data from Federal Reserve Agricultural Credit Surveys, we measure credit availability and perform county-level panel fixed effects estimations controlling for land value determinants, credit availability factors, and county and macroeconomic factors. We build an indicator of increased credit availability and find that estimating farmland values with different factors of credit availability separately could mask combined effects. ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 20-02

Journal Article
Reshuffling in Soybean Markets following Chinese Tariffs

Chinese tariffs on U.S. soybeans could reduce the global competitiveness of U.S. soybeans in the longer term.
Economic Review , Volume v. 105 , Issue no.1 , Pages 5-30

Journal Article
Long-Term Pressures and Prospects for the U.S. Cattle Industry

Recent disruptions in the cattle sector have highlighted long-term pressures on cattle producers’ profitability.
Economic Review , Volume vol.107 , Issue no.1

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