Economics

One Bit of Good News in a Sea of Disappointment

We are seeing something almost as destructive as a limited terrorist attack in terms of producing fear, panic, overreaction and economic injury.  Media misinformation and paniced responses from some world governments (like Egypt deciding to cull every pig, some 400,000 of them) has produced a sensationalized reaction from what at the end of the day will very likely be a very mild flu virus spreading around the world (http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-sci-swine-reality30-2009apr30,0,3606923.story) but monitored like it was the bubonic plague.  Of course these scientists could be wrong and it is the fear of being wrong that has set the world in motion. 

The Crystal Ball is Opaque

     Unfortunately, we are at a time not only in the meat industry but also in the general U.S. and world economy when what little anyone had to make a forecast for the future has largely disappeared into an opaque soup of uncertainty.  There is little doubt that demand for meat, both in the United States and worldwide, is tied to among other things, per-capita income and a behavioral variable related to perceived and actual wealth (although there is some controvery about the wealth effect).  Both are down with rising unemployment and plummeting asset values. 

Bill Medley - How Wall Street is Impacting Credit to Farmers

How Wall Street is Impacting Credit to Farmers.

Bill Medley, Vice President, Market Segments, Farm Credit Services of Mid-America.

NIAA 2009 Annual Meeting The Changing Face of Agriculture, March 31 - April 1, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

For full screen, click on player below.

Frank Beurskens - Meal Planning in the Supermarket Aisle: What consumers are telling us.

Meal Planning in the Supermarket Aisle: What consumers are telling us.

Frank Beurskens, Co-Founder and CEO, ShoptoCook™, Inc.

NIAA 2009 Annual Meeting The Changing Face of Agriculture, March 31 - April 1, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

For full screen, click on player below.

Jerry Roell - Equipping Animal Agriculture in a Changing World

Equipping Animal Agriculture in a Changing World.

Jerry Roell, Sales Branch Manager, John Deere Columbus.

NIAA 2009 Annual Meeting The Changing Face of Agriculture, March 31 - April 1, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

Demand

     The price outlook to producers can be summarized as I have said before by observing "which falls faster, supply or demand".  It is clear that both are falling, nationally and domestically, and the price responses still seem to suggest demand is falling faster than supply but a slowing is beginning to take place.  There seems to be some traction developing and as everyone in this business knows, spring is the beginning of the annual reduction in supply as various biological factors begin working their way through the production complex and summer demand for certain cuts begins to increase, at least domestically.  We have experienced years when the season price pattern for spring does not develop so it is not a sure thing.

Dr. James MacDonald - The Transformation of United States Livestock Agriculture

The Transformation of United States Livestock Agriculture.

Dr. James MacDonald, Chief, Agricultural Structure and Productivity Branch, Economic Research Service, USDA.

NIAA 2009 Annual Meeting The Changing Face of Agriculture, March 31 - April 1, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

For full screen, click on player below.

SwineCast 0405, FAPRI Report On Feedgrain Prices

SwineCast 0405 Show Notes:

  • FAPRI's Dr Patrick Westhoff goes in-depth on their recently released report on the factors behind the drop in grain prices and the outlook for this year and next

Cooperatives - A Great Career Opportunity in Agriculture

Recently, many people have been asking my advice on where the greatest opportunity for jobs in the agriculture industry is. Over the next several weeks, I will attempt to break down several areas of the industry that are working hard to recruit top talent. In this economy, you might find it hard to believe that certain sectors of the industry are in high need, but believe it or not, its true. As we face many baby-boomers coming up for retirement, almost all sectors of agriculture will experience a shortage of well qualified workers. This week we’ll take a snap shot of the Cooperative system - where job openings seem to abound these days, and we’ll examine why.
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