Farm Economy Update: Producer and Stakeholder Response to Volatile Markets

Monday, February 12th from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m

328A Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC, 20510

Register here

Analysts and researchers will discuss the current condition, approaches for communicating and assisting farmers, and policy research related to the farm economy. The agricultural economy has changed dramatically over the last decade, with consecutive year-on-year declines in farm income despite strong crop and livestock production levels. The USDA forecast for 2017 net farm income is $63.2 billion, roughly half of the 2013 level of $123.8 billion. (Adjusted for inflation to 2017 dollars, 2013 net farm income was $131.3 billion.) The sector as a whole has experienced lower commodity prices and rising input costs, including rising interest rates. In response, producers have spent down cash savings and liquidated inventories, and as a result solvency risk remains low in the sector. The decreased levels of well-being for many commercial farm operations is expected to trickle down to other stakeholders as the sector adjusts to a new equilibrium. Machinery and equipment dealer downturns can be expected to extend to lenders, labor, and especially landlords.

This session will examine the levels of financial stress across the sector and discuss strategies that commercial-sized operations are pursuing to maintain liquidity. Speakers will present a financial outlook for the sector as a whole as well as regional outlooks, highlighting where continued stress is expected as well as where recovery is present.

Moderator: John Newton, Director of Market Intelligence at the American Farm Bureau Federation

  • Carrie Litkowski, Farm Income Lead at the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS)
  • Allen Featherstone, Department Head, Professor, and Director of Master in Agribusiness program at Kansas State University
  • Todd Kuethe, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois