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Financial Concerns Top of Mind with Commodity Classic Attendees

“In a plateau, we see sideways movement in commodity prices and very slow demand.”

Henderson noted, historically,  plateaus last about 10 years, adding, “What really takes us out is a new surge in demand.”

He said it was the Russian grain deal in the 1970s and the ethanol boom and China trade in the 1990s, “So we need to look at our next source of demand either increased exports or domestic demand.”

Purdue Ag Economist Michael Langemeier urged farmers to find ways to lower their cost of production.

”You don’t want to do anything that will hurt yields or lower production, like cutting fertilizer, but there are some costs that can be reduced.”

He also suggested growers look at ways to diversify their operation, saying, “Look around and see if there are some new things you can do — perhaps growing non-GMO corn or white corn.  Look for opportunities that fit with your current operation.”

Langemeier urged growers to think hard before making any equipment or other major capital investments.  Exceptions might be investing in farmland or improved tiling in your operation. He noted these typically help improve the efficiency of a farming operation.

A survey of those attending Classic indicated that farmer optimism is beginning to slide. Center Director Dr. Jim Mintert said those attending Classic are slightly less optimistic than farmers overall.