By Will Schakel Extension Ag Program Assistant
---- — The Purdue Extension Service of Rush County will present a program titled “Agricultural Outlook 2014” at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the Rush County Fairgrounds in the Root Building. The program is free to the public and is designed to help farmers, land owners, input suppliers, and those interested in agriculture make better business decisions in the coming year. The program will be presented by Dr. Chris Hurt, an Agricultural Economist from the Purdue campus. Those wishing to attend should contact the Rush County Extension Office, 765-932-5974, for further information.
Indiana agriculture has returned to abundant production after the 2012 drought. Yield prospects for the state are among the best in the country and this means the grain handling and processing industries have returned to full capacity. Prospects remain hopeful for record total Indiana production of corn and record high soybean yields.
Much better production means lower grain and soybean prices. Prices will have to fall to levels that will encourage end users to increase the amount they buy. The level of prices needed to do that will be a feature of the program. Strategies for marketing this year’s crops will also be covered and are different for corn and soybeans.
Farmers and agribusiness managers need to be thinking about what to plant in 2014. Purdue has developed estimates of costs for 2014 crops and the expected returns for each crop. There are some surprises! For 2014, markets are asking farmers to cut back on corn acreage.
Livestock producers’ income prospects have turned up sharply with lower feed costs. The animal sector is already in expansion. How big will that expansion be and what species are gearing up the most?
One of the most important questions for 2014 is, “What will happen to land values and cash rents?” Will higher yields this fall offset lower prices and provide more farm income, or less? The level of income this year can be an influence on land values and cash rents for 2014, but expected returns for 2014 crop production and interest rates may be more important.
Land values will also be affected by the longer-term outlook. For this reason, expected returns over the next 3 years will also be provided. Government policy could also impact the overall support for the agricultural sector. After discussing the Farm Bill for well over a year, Congress is expected to finally pass the new bill in coming months. The outlook program will cover some of the likely provisions.