National experts to help Iowa farmers manage risk in a downturned economy

The upcoming 2016 Iowa Farm Bureau Economic Summit, “Buckle Up for the Bumpy Ride,” brings the nation’s leading marketing experts to Iowa Farm Bureau in West Des Moines June 27 to help Iowa farmers weather risks today and over the next several years of forecasted economic uncertainty.    

“There is a very clear need for an agricultural economic summit right now because of the sharp downward shift in commodity prices and farmers’ margins,” said Craig Hill, IFBF president. “Times were better a couple years ago for ag commodities, but we always knew the economy would shift because agriculture is cyclical. So, now it’s critical to provide farmers with the information they need to manage through these much tougher times and whatever lies ahead.”

The summit will feature a range of Iowa-based and national experts, ranging from economist Nathan Kaufmann of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Iowa State University’s (ISU) Chad Hart and Erin Borror of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, among others.  Mike Pearson of IPTV’s Market to Market will moderate the one-day event.

“Commodity markets are more volatile now than they were in days leading up to the Farm Crisis of the 1980’s,” said Dave Miller, director of Research & Commodity Services for IFBF.  “Case in point: six weeks ago, it was looking like we’d have soybean prices inching down towards seven dollars a bushel and now we’re pushing 10 dollars.  That’s good, but it’s an example of how quickly the prospects change.  We can all see whatever may be driving markets in the short run may dissipate just as quickly.  Since grain production accounts for 14% of the total economic output in this state, you can bet that uncertainty impacts many other manufacturing and biofuels industries down the road.”   

Trade is also an area where ag markets find volatility.  “In uncertain political times, what happens to trade matters because we are much more reliant on exports, especially our meat exports, than we were in the 1980’s.  Also today the livestock industry accounts for nearly 123,000 jobs in this state, so Dan Mitchell from the Cato Institute is a highly anticipated speaker on the political scene as it impacts future export markets,” said Miller.

The 2016 IFBF economic summit will be held at IFBF headquarters, 5400 University Avenue in West Des Moines one day only: June 27, beginning at 7:30 a.m.  There will also be special panel discussions on key issues and experts to take questions.

Summit registration, which includes access to all presentations and lunch, is $75 for Farm Bureau members and $100 for non-members.  Register now for this essential risk management seminar.  Visit the Economic Summit page or call Lavonne Baldwin at 515-225-5633 or email