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A source of global farming and food systems analysis
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Welcome to FarmEcon LLC

FarmEcon LLC is an agricultural and food industry consulting firm located near Indianapolis, in Carmel Indiana. We are capable of performing a wide range of consulting assignments (see Custom Studies, and Recent Projects).


Dr. Elam's California Poultry Federation Talk

Dr. Elam's PowerPoint slides from the September 17, 2015 talk. 

Download the slides here.

Dr. Elam testimony on HPAI economic effects

Dr. Elam testifed on HPAI's economic effects at a July 7, 2015 special hearing of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. The invitation was extended by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)

Download the written testimony here.

Download the oral testimony here.

Recent Public Presentations and Studies
April 29 Webinar on Avian Flu Impacts
Dr. Elam's webinar slides, updated as of June 28, are available here.


2015 National Turkey Federation Annual Meeting Outlook  

The slides presented by Dr. Elam at the NTF annual meeting are available here.


2014 Mediterranean Basin Egg Outlook  

The slides presented by Dr. Elam at the American University of Beirut are available here.

Spring 2014 Industry Outlook Conference Presentation

The slides presented by Dr. Elam are available here2014 Midwest Poultry Federation Presentation

The slides presented by Dr. Elam are available here

2014 NTF Presentation
The slides presented by Dr. Elam are available here

The December 2, 2013, edition of Feedstuffs carried a FarmEcon article on corn prices. The article can be downloaded from this link. The model is an update of an earlier version published in December, 2010.


In November, 2007, Informa Economics published a study sponsored by the renewable fuels lobby that showed low and statistically insignificant correlations between corn prices and retail food prices. Prior to 2007 corn prices had never moved enough to show much of a correlation with retail food prices. Since then corn prices have moved, and the correlation with retail meat and poultry is dramatic. Since the current RFS was passed in late 2007 the correlation shown in the graph below is 0.65, and highly statistically significant. The corn price shown is 6 months prior to the retail food price.


So yes, in recent history the inflation-corrected prices of the foods that make the heaviest use of corn have gone up in line with increasing constant dollar corn prices. Check back here in a few months to see if the recent drop in corn prices is followed by a decline in retail meat and poultry prices.


Not surprisingly, the ethanol lobby has not seen fit to sponsor an update to the 2007 Informa study!



Did Elimination of the Ethanol Tax Credit Have Any Positive Effects?

The conventional biofuel tax credit was terminated as of January 1, 2012. Was there any economic effect? Yes there was, lower costs for food and fuel production plus reduced Federal outlays totaled $16.6 billion in 2012. 
The paper is available here

Fascinating Paper on Biofuels and Energy Security

"Twenty-First Century Snake Oil: Why the United States Should Reject Biofuels as Part of a Rational National Security Energy Strategy," by Capt T.A. Kiefer, USN
The paper set is available here 

NTF Turkey Outlook Presentation 2/14/2013

The slide set is available here

RFS Reform: Briefing for House and Senate Staff

 The slide set is available here

Civil Unrest in South Africa Tied to Biofuels Policy

On January 8, 2013 the New England Complex Systems Institute published a study that ties biofuels policy to recent civil unrest in South Africa and other countries. This study points out how a minor increase in global energy supply continues to destabilize governments, and reduce U.S. security. The study calls for change in biofuels policies that mandate the conversion of food and feed crops to fuel. (Link



AMI Meat and Poultry Research Presentation, Atlanta GA, 1/31/2013

The slide set is available here


Food Costs are Eating American Family Budgets

The paper is available here

Carolina Feed Industry Association Meeting Presentation

The paper is available here


Ethanol Production: Impact on Meat and Poultry Consumption, Value, and Jobs

The paper is available here


7/19/2012 RFS Issues and Need for Reform: Paper and Slides

The paper is available here, the slide set here.


7/24/2012 NCBA Technology Forum Slides

The slide set is here.


2/16/2012 National Turkey Federation Presentation

The 2012 NTF slide set is available here.


4/18/2011 Feedstuffs article on the future of cattle feeding

The article is available here.


Written Testimony to the Senate Energy and Public Works Committee

Testimony submitted by Dr. Elam on April 13, 2011 is available here.


12/13/2010 Emerging Corn Price and Ethanol Relationships

Dr. Elam's and Dr. Meyers paper on corn prices and ethanol is available here.


11/25/2010 Feedstuffs Article on Corn Balance Sheet

The Feedstuffs article "Ethanol Has Made the Traditional Feedgrain Balance Sheet Obsolete" by Dr. Elam is available here


11/19/2010 Comments on GIPSA Proposed Rules

The GIPSA Proposed Rules comments prepared by Dr. Elam for the National Chicken Council are available here


7/20/2009 Feedstuffs Article on Global Meat Demand

The article highlighting the relationship between global consumer spending and total meat production can be downloaded here.


Choices Article on Biofuels Policy

The AAEA journal Choices published a special edition on biofuels. The FarmEcon LLC paper that appeared in Choices is available here.

The entire issue is available from this link: or from this site by clicking here.


Cost of biofuels policy to the U.S. Economy

Ethanol production, spurred on by federal mandates, is increasing corn demand and causing sharply higher feed costs for producers of meat, poultry and dairy products. Despite the largest corn plantings on record and near-record yields, corn prices remain well over their 3-year average. Given the corn prices that ethanol producers can afford at $100+ per barrel oil and current ethanol subsidies it appears that feed costs have permanently moved to a much higher plateau. Dr. Elam has published a study on the effects of Federal ethanol subsidies on feed and food costs. This study was sponsored by the National Turkey Federation, the National Chicken Council and the American Meat Institute.

A copy of the full study is available here



Dr. Tom Elam named as a Poultry USA "Top Gun" consultant

The November, 2006 edition of Poultry USA named Tom Elam as one of the most trusted consultants to the U.S. poultry industry. You can see the entire list of "Top Guns" at:

Thomas E. Elam, PhD
FarmEcon LLC
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Carmel IN 46032