Between now and the end of December, Purdue University's ag economics department will present 41 outlook meetings on what farmers can expect for 3020. One year ago farmers opinions and had questions at these meetings. There will likely be more questions and fewer answers this time around.
The overall world-wide recession has lowered demand for farm goods produced here, meaning exports are weaker, notes Chris Hurt, Purdue ag economist. Input prices are down, but not as much as commodity prices.
"Many want to know if this setback in agriculture this year is temporary or permanent," Hurt comments. "In the past three years, both crop prices and costs boomed, but lower crop prices today are not being fully offset by lower costs of inputs. The first point we need to make is that grain producers face much tighter margins for '10 than they did even one year ago."
The informational meetings will also reveal a closer look at Purdue's cash rent and land value survey completed earlier this summer. After years of increases, farmland prices dropped 2 %, he notes.
The picture will be even bleaker when Hurt and his co-workers turn to discussing animal agriculture. Hog farmers have been on the ropes for two years. Dairy farmers are in dire straits, even though USDA Secretary Vilsack just announced that the government would buy a major stock of milk products in an effort to help boost milk price.
Here are the meetings where outlook sessions are currently scheduled. Many of these will be live appearances either at breakfast, lunch or dinner. At least a few will be broadcasts through an Internet hook-up. Counties participating this fall include Bartholomew, Clark, Clinton, Crawford, Daviess, Dearborn, Decatur, DeKalb, Fulton, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Hendricks, Howard, Jasper, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Madison, Marshall, Newton, Orange, Owen, Parke, Posey, Pulaski, Rush, Scott, Starke, Sullivan, Tipton, Union, Vermillion, Wabash, Warrick, Washington, Wayne, Wells and White.
Consult your local Extension ag educator for exact times and locations.