Farm Bureau Economic Summit Brings National Media, Hundreds of Farmers to Ames
Impacts of the most widespread drought to hit Iowa topped many expert panel discussions during the Iowa Farm Bureau Economic Summit recently in Ames. More than 400 Iowa farmers and agribusiness industry leaders came to Scheman Auditorium July 23 to 24 for perspectives from national experts in banking, fiscal policy, commodity marketing and climate change.
Many panelists at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation-sponsored event agreed the agricultural sector is constantly evolving and currently highly volatile. Planning is crucial to maintain economic sustainability for Iowa farmers, currently impacted by drought-squeezed yields, rising farmland values and livestock feed costs. "The consistent message was make long-term plans, and make sure you're grounded in reality," said IFBF Director of Research and Commodity Services David Miller. "Land prices topping $10,000 to $15,000 an acre involve a lot of emotion, both for sellers and the buyers. Multiple experts at our event agreed it is vital our farmers have long-term repayment capacity to weather the many variables that affect their bottom line," said Miller. "Drought impacts on the nation's leading grain-producing states are driving corn and soybean prices through the roof now, but the reality is there is no guarantee this price rally is sustainable. Yield prospects vary stalk-to-stalk this year, and we won't know what our yields will be until we're in the fields for harvest."
Economist Danny Klinefelter of Texas A&M University and Jeff Plagge, president and CEO of Northwest Financial Corp., and vice-chair of the American Bankers Association, to Iowa State University climatologist and weather expert Elwynn Taylor, a panel of D.C. experts from the Senate and House Ag Committees and Daniel Mitchell of the D.C. "think tank," the CATO Institute, were among the nationally recognized monetary, policy, trade and economic experts tapped for the July IFBF economic summit.
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