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Dr. Joe Outlaw Tells House Ag Subcommittee That Projected Farm Economic Outlook as Bad as Its Been Since the Late 1990s

Fri, 15 Apr 2016 06:44:30 CDT

Dr. Joe Outlaw Tells House Ag Subcommittee That Projected Farm Economic Outlook as Bad as Its Been Since the Late 1990s The House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management held a hearing April 14, on the growing financial pressures faced by U.S. farmers and ranchers. One of those offering testimony before the Committee was Dr. Joe Outlaw with the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University. Dr. Outlaw spoke on the status of the farm and ranch economy, based on work done by the center and by FAPRI at the University of Missouri over several decades.

In the case of the AFPC, Dr. Outlaw says that the current dataset they have developed from talking and looking at the projected financial condition at the end of 2016 and 2020 for 63 representative crop farms located in 20 states has things looking grim:

"The results for feedgrain and oilseed farms, as well as, wheat and cotton farms are the worst (in terms of the highest percentage of farms in the poor category) since the late 19 90s.


• 11 of the 23 feed grain and oilseed farms are projected to end the baseline period in poor financial condition.

• 6 of the 11 wheat farms are projected to end the period in poor financial condition.

• 8 of the 15 cotton farms are projected to end the period in poor financial condition.

• 4 of the 14 rice farms are expected to end the period in poor financial condition.

These results already include any projected ARC and PLC support that would be triggered by low prices or low incomes in future years. Unfortunately, the results should be viewed as optimistic because of an assumption we make regarding cash balances. It is important to note that ARC support tends to be frontloaded and with prices remaining low throughout the projection period, the ARC benchmark declines significantly resulting in producers r eceiving little support by the end of the period."

Outlaw offers several obervations and conclusions, including a impassioned plea for the members of the House Ag Committee to defend and protect Crop Insurance and the Farm Safety Net tools from the 2014 Farm Law- and you can hear his testimony followed by his answer to the first question offered by Subcommittee Chairman Rick Crawford of Arkansas. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear his comments and answer.

His full testimony can be seen by clicking here.


Dr. Joe Outlaw offers testimony and responds to question in front of a House Ag Committee Hearing
right-click to download mp3


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