Pro-Ag Outlook 2013 Forum Presentations Nov. 20, 2013
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Northwest Iowa- Agricultural lenders and suppliers, producers and policymakers grow nervous when commodity prices, input costs, farmland values and lease rates become volatile says Melissa O’Rourke, Farm and Agribusiness Management Specialist for Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach. “Add in prevented and late planting last spring with drought conditions for good measure and there is plenty of excitement to manage for the 2014 farming year.”
“Iowa State University agricultural economists have recently cautioned farmers to be prepared for a potential downturn in the values of commodities and land,” notes O’Rourke. “Especially in light of these volatile conditions, we’re offering opportunities for producers and ag business professionals to get updated information to help make decisions that need to be made during the post-harvest period,” says O’Rourke.
The opening speaker was Dr. Lee Schulz, ISU Livestock Marketing Analyst. Schulz reviewed the livestock situation, reviewing the profit potential and survival techniques in the livestock sector. Dr. Schulz returned from an international trade mission and shared information focusing on volatile beef and pork prices driven by demand and world economy factors, including exports, herd size and feed costs.
Dr. Schulz specializes in livestock economics, agricultural marketing and risk management and has expertise in topics including fed cattle trade, feeder cattle pricing, meat demand, and price risk management and analysis. His research on a host of livestock economic issues has resulted in multiple publications and numerous outreach contributions.
Schulz grew up on a cow-calf farm in central Wisconsin. He obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University as well as an M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University.
O’Rourke presented a brief outlook on the trends in farmland rental rates. “I continue to get calls from both producers and owners with questions about fixed and flexible cash rent arrangements and related land value trends,” says O’Rourke.
The forum features a keynote presentation by Dr. Chad Hart from the Department of Agricultural Economics at ISU. As uncertainty abounds in the crop markets with questions about crop size and global demand, Dr. Hart discussed the cyclical nature of the markets including the factors shaping the markets and the keys to watch as farmers market their grain over the coming year.
Prior to joining the Department of Economics at ISU, Chad Hart was the U.S. Policy and Insurance Analyst with the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) and a scientist with the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at ISU. His projections and outlooks are sought after by agriculture professionals across Iowa and the nation.
Call your local county ISU Extension and Outreach office for more information or contact Melissa O’Rourke at the ISU Extension and Outreach of Sioux County office at 712-737-4230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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