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OUTLOOK 2017: Ag economists explore the best options for producers

preparing land
As producers get ready to prepare land for planting, they are looking at the eocnomic outlook for 2017.
Texas AgriLife and Oklahoma State University Extension economists look at crops and livestock outlooks for 2017 in a series of articles.

Prices are down, costs are up — and the safety net is tattered. All of which leaves Southwest farmers scratching their heads, wondering which crop or enterprise offers the best prospect of showing a profit in 2017 (or losing the least amount of money).

Growers can do nothing about price or the safety net — the oft-maligned Agriculture Act of 2014 — other than purchase what crop insurance coverage they can afford.

They can do little about costs, except be as frugal as possible without penny-pinching themselves out of business.

The best tool farmers have as they look toward another tenuous production year is information. Knowing as much as possible about market outlooks, cost projections, financing options, and insurance programs, among other necessary inputs, may mean the difference between making a little money and losing a lot.

We hope this series of articles provides a few answers. The Extension agricultural economics teams from Texas A&M AgriLife and Oklahoma State University have joined forces to evaluate a broad spectrum of crops, enterprises, and issues that affect farm bottom lines. They touch on the major crops produced in the Southwest region, as well as the livestock industries that provide significant economic benefits.

Southwest Farm Press appreciates the contributions that some of the most respected agricultural economists in the country have made for this series. We’re certain that their insights will be beneficial as producers make final crop decisions for 2017.

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