Ag Economy May Moderate in 2017 But Wise Farmers Will Hope for the Best and Plan for the WorstFri, 05 May 2017 14:54:06 CDT
In recent years, the rural community has watched as commodity prices have plummeted, and with them so too has net farm income. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Dr. Bob Young, chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation, to find out how long this challenging economic trend is expected to continue. Young says some reports are calling 2016 the low and cautiously predict that farm income could actually slightly improve during 2017, assuming that the weather cooperates. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping on the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of this story.
"I think the weather could have as much to do with it as the economics," he said. "Again though, it's early days yet and we'll have to wait and see. Give me a weather forecast and I'll give you a price forecast."
Weather has already played a major role in this year's harvest, having caused significant damage to the Kansas wheat crop just this past week, but like Young says, it is still too early to tell at this point exactly what the extent of the damage is. But regardless, he says not to expect that to have dramatic effects on the market.
"On the wheat side - just an awful lot of wheat out there in the world right now," Young shrugged. "I think there's just enough supplies there, just hard-pressed to see a whole lot of price moves come out of that."
In order to literally and figuratively weather the storm of these tough economic times in the ag sector, Young advises producers to carefully manage their expenses and keep their pencils sharp.
"It's watching what's going on, on the personal expense side," he advised. "Folks that have been in business this long in agriculture know that."
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