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Iowa Farm Bureau to help farmers plan for changing prices

Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 10:31 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 10:33 a.m. CDT

Iowa and national economists and ag market experts agree — many key indicators point towards a bursting of the Ag sector profit bubble in the next two years.

To help Iowa farmers manage market risks, the Iowa Farm Bureau is hosting “Grain, Gridlock and Globalization” — a two-day economic summit beginning July 22 in Ames.

Iowa Farm Bureau Commodity Services Manager Ed Kordick said some of the issues to be discussed will include land prices, globalization, the importance of cross-country border trading, federal policy and what it means for Iowa farmers.

“One of the main issues are land prices,” said Kordick. “Monetary policy could change as the interest rates are very low. If we see them go higher, we might see some threat to land prices.”

Jamie Travis, owner of Hometown Insurance and Realty said, based on an Iowa land sales report, Iowa land values have decreased by 16.5 percent — from $7,014 to $5,859 per acre — since 2012.

“We can already see that people are worried corn prices are going down,” said Travis.

Travis said the difference between the “bubble burst” of the 1980s’ and now is that farmers were “heavily leveraged” and could no longer afford their payment.

“Farmers are way more conservative now,” said Travis. “So many people are buying farms with cash. Very few are borrowing. I don’t think it will take a significant dip like it did back then.”

Kordick also doesn’t believe the anticipated rise in land prices will be a major catastrophe, however, he said the summit is a way for farmers to keep informed.

“Planning is ... more important now because of the dollars involved in agriculture,” said Kordick. “With government policy changing in the federal budget, we can no longer look to them to help us as much as they used to. It’s like they are telling us to stand on our own two feet.”

The two-day summit brings nationally-known experts on crop and livestock trends, exports and commodity prices. Among the nationally-recognized policy trade and economic experts, presenters range from economists Allen Featherstone of Kansas State University, Michael Boehlje from Purdue University, export and policy analyst Ross Korves and ag meteorologist Elwynn Taylor.

The two-day summit will be held July 22 at Iowa State University in the Scheman Building in Ames. The cost to attend is $50 for Iowa Farm Bureau members and $150 for non-members. For a complete listing of panelists, schedule, lodging and online registration visit the Iowa Farm Bureau online at www.iowafarmbureau.com.

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