The annual Purdue Top Corp Farmer Workshop is next week, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 15 and 16 at the Beck Center at the Purdue Agronomy Research Farm near West Lafayette. A long-standing tradition, this year's version is shorter, and sticks to primarily farm management and marketing topics with expert speakers.
Earlier versions of the workshop often featured a plethora of farmers talking on various advancements in agronomy and in farm management. Instead of 15 minute presentations, most of the sessions this year are longer, allowing speakers to put meat into the presentations.
You can check out the schedule and registration information at www.agecon.purdue.edu/commercialag.
The first morning kicks off with an agricultural outlook. It will be followed by a discussion of the new farm bill and what choices farmers will be asked to make, perhaps starting as early as this fall. The bill will affect the 2015 crop year.
The first afternoon will be devoted to settling into the new environment of agriculture, which will most likely feature lower prices. Mike Boehlje, sought-after speaker and also a Purdue ag economist, will lead discussion on 10 strategies that you can begin using to carve out a place for your farm operation in the new environment.
The second day features a look at farmland values – what they are doing now and what they are expected to do in the near and long-term. It also includes a presentation on big data and what it might mean both to agriculture and your farm. Utilizing thousands of data points to make decisions appears to be the 'next big thing' in agriculture.
You will also learn which of the financial measurements of your farm performance you should be watching most closely. Finally, Jason Henderson, Purdue Extension director and an ag economist by trade, will discuss the macro-economic outlook and what it means for agriculture. He will include his experiences in the farm credit system as he makes his observations.
These are talks you won't want to miss if you want to sharpen your management tools.