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Browse FSI scholarship on geopolitics, global health, energy, cybersecurity and more.

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Walter P. Falcon
Journal Articles

Causes of Indonesia’s forest fires

Rosamond L. Naylor, Ryan Edwards, Matt Higgins, Walter P. Falcon
World Development Journal , 2019

The economic costs of Indonesia’s 2015 forest fires are estimated to exceed US $16 billion, with more than 100,000 premature deaths. On several days the fires emitted more carbon dioxide than the entire United States economy. Here, we combine detailed geospatial data on fire and local climatic conditions with rich administrative data to assess the underlying causes of Indonesia’s forest fires at district and village scales. We find that El Niño events explain most of the year-on-year variation in fire.

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Journal Articles

Decentralization and the environment: Assessing smallholder oil palm development in Indonesia

Rosamond L. Naylor, Matt Higgins, Ryan Edwards, Walter P. Falcon
Ambio , 2019

Indonesia’s oil palm expansion during the last two decades has resulted in widespread environmental and health damages through land clearing by fire and peat conversion, but it has also contributed to rural poverty alleviation. In this paper, we examine the role that decentralization has played in the process of Indonesia’s oil palm development, particularly among independent smallholder producers.

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Books

The Tropical Oil Crop Revolution: Food, Feed, Fuel, and Forests

Walter P. Falcon, Rosamond L. Naylor
Oxford University Press , 2016

Over the last two decades global production of soybean and palm oil seeds have increased enormously. Because these tropically rainfed crops are used for food, cooking, animal feed, and biofuels, they have entered the agriculture, food, and energy chains of most nations despite their actual growth being increasingly concentrated in Southeast Asia and South America.

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Books

Frontiers in Food Policy: Perspectives on Sub-Saharan Africa

Walter P. Falcon, Rosamond L. Naylor
Stanford Center on Food Security and the Environment , 2013

Frontiers in Food Policy: Perspectives on sub-Saharan Africa is a compilation of research stemming from the Global Food Policy and Food Security Symposium Series, hosted by the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The series, and this volume, have brought the world's leading policy experts in the fields of food and agricultural development together for a comprehensive dialogue on pro-poor growth and food security policy.

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Journal Articles

Field Notes from an Iowa Farm

Walter Falcon
Farming Magazine , 2012

The American Midwest is suffering through the driest summer in decades, and Stanford economist Walter Falcon is watching the corn wither in his fields. He writes how the drought is affecting crops, prices and the livelihoods of his fellow farmers in Iowa. 

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Books

Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution

Pamela Matson, Walter P. Falcon, Ashley Dean, Rosamond L. Naylor, Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio, Peter Jewett, Ellen McCullough, Michael Beman, Amy Luers, David Lobell, Toby Ahrens, John Harrison, Gerrit Schoups, Lee Addams, David S. Battisti, Jose Luis Minjares
Island Press , 2011

Seeds of Sustainability is a groundbreaking analysis of agricultural development and transitions toward more sustainable management in one region. An invaluable resource for researchers, policymakers, and students alike, it examines new approaches to make agricultural landscapes healthier for both the environment and people.

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Journal Articles

The Global Costs of American Ethanol

Rosamond Naylor, Walter Falcon
The American Interest , 2011

World leaders are focused on agricultural supply data, insurance schemes and speculation as they try to quell volatility in global food markets. They should also turn their attention to perhaps the leading cause of price instability: U.S. ethanol policy.

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Journal Articles

Impacts of El Nino-Southern Oscillation events on China's rice production

Deng Xiangzheng, Huang Jikun, Qiao Fangbin, Rosamond L. Naylor, Walter P. Falcon, Marshall Burke, Scott Rozelle, David Battisti
Journal of Geographcial Sciences , 2010

This paper aims to demonstrate the relationships between ENSO and rice production of Jiangxi province in order to identify the reason that ENSO might have little effect on Chinese rice production. Using a data set with measures of Jiangxi's climate and rice production, we find the reason that during 1985 and 2004 ENSO's well correlated with rainfall did not promote Chinese rice production. First, the largest effects of ENSO mostly occur in the months when there is no rice in the field. Second, there is almost no temperature effect.

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Journal Articles

Food Security in an Era of Economic Volatility

Rosamond L. Naylor, Walter P. Falcon
Population and Development Review , 2010

The recent upheavals in staple food prices, financial markets, and the global economy raise questions about the state of food insecurity, the nature of price variability, and the appropriate strategies for international agricultural development. For decades preceding this turmoil, agriculture had received waning attention from the global development community as real food prices declined on trend. Analysts who worried about food insecurity focused on the fate of poor producers.

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Policy Briefs

Results summary from NSF-funded project - Impacts of El Nino-Southern Oscillation Events (ENSO) on Chinese Rice Prouduction and the World Rice Market

Rosamond L. Naylor, Walter P. Falcon, David S. Battisti, Richard Palmer, Scott Rozelle, Xiangzheng Deng, Jikun Huang, Marshall Burke
Center on Food Security and the Environment, Stanford University , 2010
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Journal Articles

El Nino-Southern Oscillation impacts on rice production in Luzon, the Philippines

Martha G. Roberts, David Dawe, Walter P. Falcon, Rosamond Naylor
Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology , 2009

This study uses regression analysis to evaluate the relationships among sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) averaged over the Niño-3.4 region (5°N-5°S, 120°-170°W), rainfall, and rice production, area harvested, and yield in Luzon, the large island on which most Philippine rice is grown. Previous research on Philippine rice production and El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has found negative associations between El Niño events and rice yields in rainfed systems. This analysis goes further and shows that both irrigated and rainfed ecosystems are impacted.

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Books

The Asian Maize Economy in 2025

Walter Falcon
Maize in Asia: Changing Markets and Incentives , 2008

This chapter looks more qualitatively at Asia as a single region and focuses more speculatively on the longer run. It is also more personal, since views of the 2025, like beauty, depend inevitably on the eyes of the beholder. The chapter begins by running history backwards via a thought experiment. Suppose in 1975 that one had been predicting the contours of the Asian maize economy in 2000. What variables and parameters would forecasters have missed in significant ways? This procedure turns out to be a very sobering exercise for anyone now predicting events in 2025.

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Journal Articles

Prioritizing Climate Change Adaptation Needs for Food Security in 2030

David Lobell, Marshall Burke, Claudia Tebaldi, Michael D. Mastrandrea, Walter P. Falcon, Rosamond L. Naylor
Science , 2008
Investments aimed at improving agricultural adaptation to climate change will inevitably favor some crops and regions over others. We present several quantitative criteria that could be used to prioritize these investments, with a focus on global food security impacts by 2030. An analysis of climate risks for 94 crops across 12 food insecure regions is first conducted, based on statistical crop models and climate projections from 20 general circulation models. Subsets of crops are then identified based on different criteria, such as the impacts under
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Journal Articles

Our Daily Bread: Without public investment, the food crisis will only get worse

Rosamond L. Naylor, Walter P. Falcon
Boston Review , 2008

During the eighteen months after January 2007, cereal prices doubled, setting off a world food crisis. In the United States, rising food prices have been a pocketbook annoyance. Most Americans can opt to buy lower-priced sources of calories and proteins and eat out less frequently. But for nearly half of the world’s population—the 2.5 billion people who live on less than $2 per day—rising costs mean fewer meals, smaller portions, stunted children, and higher infant mortality rates.

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Journal Articles

International trade in meat - The tip of the pork chop

Jim Galloway, Marshall Burke, Eric Bradford, Rosamond L. Naylor, Walter P. Falcon, Harold A. Mooney, Joanne Gaskell, Kirsten Oleson, Ellen McCollough, Henning Steinfeld
Ambio , 2007

This paper provides an original account of global land, water and nitrogen use in support of industrialized livestock production and trade, with emphasis on two of the fastest growing sectors, pork and poultry. Our analysis focuses on trade in feed and animal products, using a new model that calculates the amount of "virtual" nitrogen, water and land used in production but not embedded in the product.

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Journal Articles

The Ripple Effect: Biofuels, Food Security, and the Environment

Rosamond L. Naylor, Adam Liska, Marshall Burke, Walter P. Falcon, Joanne Gaskell, Scott Rozelle, Kenneth Cassman
Environment , 2007

The integration of the agricultural and energy sectors caused by rapid growth in the biofuels market signals a new era in food policy and sustainable development. For the first time in decades, agricultural commodity markets could experience a sustained increase in prices, breaking the long-term price decline that has benefited food consumers worldwide. Whether this transition occurs, and how it will affect global hunger and poverty, remain to be seen. Will food markets begin to track the volatile energy market in terms of price and availability?

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Journal Articles

Assessing risks of climate variability and climate change for Indonesian rice agriculture

Rosamond L. Naylor, David S. Battisti, Walter P. Falcon, Marshall Burke, Daniel Vimont
PNAS , 2007
El Nino events typically lead to delayed rainfall and decreased rice planting in Indonesia's main rice-growing regions, thus prolonging the hungry season and increasing the risk of annual rice deficits. Here we use a risk assessment framework to examine the potential impact of El Nino events and natural variability on rice agriculture in 2050 under conditions of climate change, with a focus on two main rice-producing areas: Java and Bali.

We select a 30-day delay in monsoon onset as a threshold beyond which significant impact on the country's rice economy is likely to occur.

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Working Papers

Project Timeline: Program for the Study of Biofuels, Poverty and Food Security

Jikun Huang, Mark Rosengrant, Scott Rozelle, Rosamond L. Naylor, Walter P. Falcon, David Victor, Kenneth Cassman
, 2007

A concept note about setting up an international program for studying the effects of the emergence of biofuels on global poverty and food security. 

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Journal Articles

Rethinking Food Security for the 21st Century

Walter P. Falcon, Rosamond L. Naylor
American Journal of Agricultural Economics , 2005

In this article, we examine why concerns about food security have diminished, at least relative to earlier periods. We argue that it should be in the interest of agricultural economists to return this concept to the G-8 agenda in light of the clear linkages between agricultural development, economic growth, food security, and national security in poor countries.

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Journal Articles

Analysis of Wheat Yield and Climate Trends in Mexico

David Lobell, Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio, Gregory P. Asner, Pamela Matson, Rosamond L. Naylor, Walter P. Falcon
Field Crops Research , 2005

Wheat yields in Mexico, which represent an important measure of breeding and management progress in developing world wheat production, have increased by 25% over the past two decades. Using a combination of mechanistic and statistical models, we show that much of this increase can be attributed to climatic trends in Northwest states, in particular cooling of growing season nighttime temperatures.

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Journal Articles

Losing the Links Between Livestock and Land

Rosamond L. Naylor, Henning Steinfeld, Walter P. Falcon, James Galloway, Vaclav Smil, Eric Bradford, Jackie Alder, Harold A. Mooney
Science , 2005

Global meat production is becoming increasingly industrialized, spatially concentrated, and geographically detached from the agricultural land base. This Policy Forum reviews the process of livestock industrialization and globalization, and its consequences for water, nitrogen, and species-rich habitats in meat- and feed-producing regions often vastly separated in space.

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Working Papers

Agriculture Decision-Making in Indonesia with ENSO Variability: Conference poster

Rosamond L. Naylor, David Battisti, Dan Vimont, Walter Falcon
, 2005

The combined forces of El NinoSouthern Oscillation (ENSO) eventsand global warming are likely to have dramatic effects on future cropproduction and food security in Indonesia and other tropical countries.Indonesia consistently experiences dry climatic conditions and droughtsduring El Nino events, resulting in delayed production of rice—thecountry’s primary food staple—and exacerbated problems of foodinsecurity among the poor. Our preliminary analysis suggests thatglobal climate change could cause Indonesia’s “normal” climate state tobe similar to an El Nino state currently.

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Journal Articles

Combining Field Surveys, Remote Sensing and Regression Trees to Understand Yield Variations in an Irrigated Wheat Landscape

David Lobell, Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio, Gregory P. Asner, Rosamond L. Naylor, Walter P. Falcon
Agronomy Journal , 2005

Improved understanding of the factors that limit crop yields in farmers' fields will play an important role in increasing regional food production while minimizing environmental impacts. However, causes of spatial variability in crop yields are poorly known in many regions because of limited data availability and analysis methods. In this study, we assessed sources of between-field wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) yield variability for two growing seasons in the Yaqui Valley, Mexico.

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