Iowa Agriculture to Benefit from Strong Livestock Returns

While crop margins are collapsing this year, Midwestern livestock farmers are just now entering what appears to be an extended period of strong returns, a leading agricultural economist said last week.

“It may be getting colder for crops, but it’s sunny and 70 degrees for livestock right now,” Chris Hurt, a Purdue University agricultural economist told bankers and others at the Chicago Federal Reserve’s annual agricultural conference. “Livestock farmers have survived a very anxious period when feed prices got so high, and now it looks like they could have multiple years of good times ahead.”

Iowa’s livestock strength, and balance, puts the state’s overall agricultural economy in a much better position than other states in the Chicago Fed district, Hurt said. The district, which in­­­­cludes all of Iowa,...

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