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Washington County will present a program titled “Agricultural Outlook 2017” at the Washington County Government Building Meeting Room (806 Martinsburg Rd., Salem) on Monday, December 12, 2016 at 11:00 am.

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 Chris Hurt an Agricultural Economist from the Purdue campus.

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Please contact the Extension Office on or before Thursday, December 8, 2016 with your reservations for the sponsored lunch.

Indiana had strong corn yields and record soybean yields this year. The country had record yields for corn, soybeans, and wheat with record production for corn and soybeans. Farmers will have more bushels to sell, but at lower prices.

This program will evaluate the returns of farmers and compare them with previous years.

Farmers have been facing weak crop margins since 2014 which has weakened the financial position of most farm families. Crop prices have been under downward pressure and farmers have responded by cutting their production costs.

The longer-term outlook for 2017 to 2019 crops will also be discussed. Agriculture is in the process of adjusting to lower crop prices. Will input prices drop enough to help reduce costs? How can crop farmers adjust to tighter, or even negative margins? What are the early indications for the best crops to plant in 2017? What farm and agribusiness management strategies will work best in the current economic environment?

The Farm Bill provides safety net features for farmers in the form of crop insurance and commodity payments.

Those payments have helped, but have not been sufficient to return most crop farms to profitability. This program will evaluate how those safety nets are working for farm families.

The animal industries have respond to lower feed prices by expanding their herds and flocks. Larger production means lower animal product prices. The program will also evaluate whether feed prices will drop enough to compensate for lower animal product prices.

What about land values and cash rents? How much did they change in 2016 and what might be the direction for 2017 and beyond? Are land values and rents going to adjust a little bit more, or a lot more? What will be the drivers of that change?

Contact Danielle Walker at the Purdue Extension – Washington County Office, 806 Martinsburg Rd. Suite 104, Salem, IN at 812-883- 4601 or [email protected] for reservations, questions or if you need reasonable
accommodations to participate in this program.

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