Growth in demand for agricultural products is an important step in improving the economic outlook for production agriculture, especially in light of abundant global inventories. Growth in demand, or consumption, is often slow as the key drivers – population and consumption trends- are themselves slow to change. This year the livestock sector received some good news as the USDA reported increases in per capita consumption for several categories of meat. In this week’s post, we take a look at the long-run trends in U.S. meat consumption.
U.S. agriculture has several lingering questions heading into 2016 and the strong U.S. dollar is one of them. Nearly a year ago we first wrote about why exchange rates are important and highlighted how challenging they can be, especially for grain exports. In this post we take a look at current exchange rate conditions, commodity-specific impacts, and what might be in store for the U.S. dollar and agriculture in 2016. Continue reading →
Last week the USDA’s updated estimate of U.S. net farm income in 2015 was ratcheted lower. Earlier this spring, estimates were that net farm income would be substantially lower than the recent highs, but returning to levels near the long-run average (as we pointed out here). The latest estimate, however, casts a more pessimistic outlook for 2015 and the subject of this week’s post. Continue reading →