The big story in Illinois agriculture in 2015 was the “margin squeeze” faced by crop producers. This squeeze was brought on by continued declines in corn and soybean prices and costs of production that remained at historically high levels. The key question going forward is how the crop sector will adjust to this changed reality. Producers and landowners face a series of difficult management challenges as they grapple with how to adjust to the changed environment. Should cash rents be low-ered, and if so, by how much? Will fertilizer and seed prices decline and provide some measure of relief? What do margins look like if grain prices recover to longer-term averages? The University of Illinois Extension and members of the farmdoc team from the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics will be holding a series of five Farm Economics Summit meetings to help producers navigate these turbulent times.
Speakers from the farmdoc team at the University of Illinois will explore the farm profitability outlook and management challenges from several perspectives, including the 2015 outlook for prices, farm income prospects, land rents and valuation, long-term credit cycles, nutrient management, and the outlook for conventional bio-fuels. The format for the meeting will be fast-paced and allow plenty of time for questions from the audience.