Agribusiness and Applied Economics

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NDSU provides Agricultural Outlook for Lenders

The Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics recently completed the Outlook Conference for Agricultural Lenders held at Fargo, Grand Forks, Minot and Bismarck.  The conferences were attended by over 300 lenders from locally owned, regional and national banks and from Farm Credit Services, credit unions and the Farm Service Agency. 

 

The cornerstone of the annual conference is the crop market outlook by Frayne Olson and the livestock market outlook by Tim Petry.  Dr. Olson also held a session in which he explained contracts used by buyers to procure grain from producers and highlighted the importance of understanding several provisions.

 

Presentations were made on the U.S. economic outlook, North Dakota farm financial performance, trends in crop land values and rents, evaluation of crop land rental contracts, and  the economic impact to North Dakota  of 5.6 million acres of prevented planting in 2011,  

 

There were sessions on federal farm programs, including updates on the Average Crop Revenue Election Program, the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program, and the Conservation Reserve Program.  The impact of the Budget Control Act of 2011 on federal farm programs was also presented.

 

The purpose of the conference is to help agricultural lenders better understand the changing economic environment in which farmers and ranchers operate.   It is difficult for lenders to stay current on the breadth of issues affecting their customers such as commodity markets, cost of production, government policy and trends in agriculture.  Information to improve understanding between lenders and producers is important because agricultural lending is critical to the operation of farms in North Dakota.  For example, in 2010, the average farm enrolled in the North Dakota Farm Business Management Education program borrowed $463,000 during the year compared to $251,000 just five years earlier.  

 

This was the 21st year that the conference has been held.  It started in 1991 at one location, Carrington, with 29 lenders and has grown to four locations with total attendance exceeding 300.

 

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