2017 Ag Policy Watch List: Issues Bigger than the Farm Bill

ag policy watch list. ag trends. agricultural economic insights

by David Widmar and Brent Gloy

We previously noted that macro-economic and policy issues seem poised to play a larger role in 2017 (and beyond) than in recent memory. This realization has become even more evident in recent weeks as a host of policy issues – both directly and indirectly impacting agriculture – have been discussed. We – Brent and David- are in no way ag policy experts, but the policy issues facing agriculture are significant enough we felt it was important to provide some context. With that said, this week’s post is our 2017 Ag Policy Watch List. Just six months ago is seemed the only issue ag policy gurus were debating was when to start planning for the next Farm Bill. As you will see from our list, ag policy makers will likely spend most of 2017 on issues much bigger than the Farm Bill. Continue reading

2017 Net Farm Income Forecasted Lower, But Conditions Better Than a Year Ago

By David Widmar and Brent Gloy

Last week the USDA provided an update on net farm income estimates, including the first look at 2017. With this report, the USDA confirmed net farm income would be lower for the fourth consecutive year. However, the USDA’s latest estimates were not all bad news. This week’s blog post analyzes the latest USDA estimates and why conditions in 2017 are better than the outlook a year ago. Continue reading

Why Soybean Acres Aren’t a Clear Winner in 2017

by David Widmar and Brent Gloy

If you ask three economists the same question, you’re likely to get (at least) three different answers. While soybean acres seem to have an advantage going into the Spring, particularly in Indiana and the Eastern Corn Belt, we thought it would be valuable to evaluate university crop budgets from across the Corn Belt.  This week’s post takes a look at recent crop budgets and why additional soybean acres in 2017 might not be a clear winner for producers in all regions of the country. Continue reading