News Releases - Business, Economy & Finance
Written by Laurie Johns   
Friday, 03 May 2013 13:38

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – May 2, 2013 – Unusually-cold spring weather is causing new concerns for Iowa’s delayed planting season; the 2012 drought depleted the nation’s reserves  making this year’s crop a crucial one for global market exports, biofuel production and livestock farmers, according to the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF).

“The nation’s farmers, biofuels makers and grain exporters will all be affected if another crop falls short of expectation,” says IFBF economist Dave Miller. “But, if the weather turns around and our record corn and soybean acres see record yields, that would likely swamp grain markets and drive down prices for crop farmers; we’re in an unusually crucial situation this year.”

Miller added, “Are we standing on the edge of a cliff?  With another short crop, we can’t adjust exports down much further…therefore, where would the next adjustment come from? We saw the first contraction in biofuels production in seven years, because of last year’s drought.  Exports have also been a point of adjustment in past major crop shortfalls; all these things send ripple effects through our entire industry and that means consumers could feel it, too.”

Helping Iowa farmers manage market risks like these and discussing farm policy challenges will be a key theme in the 2013 IFBF Economic Summit “Grain, Gridlock and Globalization: Meeting the Economic Challenges in Today’s Agriculture,” which will be held July 22 and 23 in Ames.  The two-day summit brings nationally-known experts on crop and livestock market trends, exports and commodity price experts to the Iowa State Center Scheman Building on the Iowa State University campus.

“Clearly, there are many unpredictable factors out there impacting farmers; most delayed planting seasons are regional in nature; however this year, because of wild weather, the entire grain producing region is impacted.  But we also have record land prices, a crop that is vastly more expensive to produce, an uncertain political climate with no new Farm Bill and emerging trade challenges.  All affect our ability to grow food, fiber and fuel,” says IFBF President Craig Hill.

National experts ranging from economists Allen Featherstone of Kansas State University, Michael Boehlje from Purdue, export and policy analyst Ross Korves and ag meteorologist Elwynn Taylor are among many nationally-recognized monetary, policy, trade and economic experts tapped for the July IFBF Economic Summit.

For a complete listing of the panelists and schedule, click here: www.iowafarmbureau.com.

The price of the two-day summit is $50 for Iowa Farm Bureau members and $150 for non-members.  Information about the summit, lodging and online registration forms can be found at www.iowafarmbureau.com.

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About Iowa Farm Bureau

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the People, Progress and Pride of Iowa.  More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve farm and rural prosperity.  For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online Newsroom page atwww.iowafarmbureau.com.

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