The Iowa Farm Bureau Fed­eration (IFBF) Economic Summit, set for July 20 in Ames, will for the first time offer a series of breakout sessions to help participants concentrate on key areas of interest.

The summit’s breakout sessions will cover a wide range of topics, including strategies to maximize farmland investments, potential opportunities in Iowa livestock production, management strategies for cover crops and new technologies that can improve farm efficiency, said Dave Miller, IFBF director of research and commodity services. The breakouts will be interspersed with general sessions to provide participants in the IFBF Economic Summit a broad look at the today’s ag economy, he said.

“There are a number of topics that we think are very important, but might be of a more narrow interest to some of the summit’s participants,” Miller said. “With the breakouts, it will give folks an opportunity to dig a little deeper and focus more closely on areas that are of more interest or are more critical for their own farms.”

Two sessions
The morning session of the 2017 IFBF Economic Summit will feature breakouts on:

• Farmland opportunities in 2017 and beyond by Dave Muth of Ag Solver.

• Soil health, cover crops and nutrient management by Michael Castellano of Iowa State University (ISU).

• Livestock opportunities by Brian Waddingham of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers.

• An update on Iowa’s emergency management plans for livestock disease outbreaks by Dr. James Roth, ISU’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

• Crop insurance performance by Spence Parkinson of Decision Innovation Solutions.

• Issues surrounding ARC-County payments in the farm program by Michelle Mensing of Decision Innovation Solutions.

The scheduled afternoon break­out sessions are:

• Farm-level cover crop economics by Chad Watts of the Conservation Tillage Information Center.

• What’s new in digital ag and how to use the data by Jeremy Wilson of Crop IMS.

• Aerial crop scouting by Brent Johnson of Labre Crop Consulting, who is also IFBF District 4 director.

In addition to the breakouts, the one-day summit at ISU’s Scheman Center will feature a range of Iowa-based and national experts on the farm economy, Miller said.

They will discuss the direction of interest rates, the changing financial situation in agriculture following years of low commodity prices, international trade is­­sues and other economic trends critical for farmers, he said.

Zippy Duvall, AFBF president, is set to provide the keynote luncheon speech at the July 20 event.

Registration for the summit in Ames is $30 for members and $75 for non-members before July 11. Prices will rise after that deadline.

Information on the summit, including the online registration form and agenda, can be found here.