The Road Warrior of Agriculture

2003 Agribusiness Conference

I had the pleasure of speaking at the 2003 Agribusiness Conference hosted by Arkansas State University with generous agribusiness sponsors in Jonesboro, AK. More than 550 people attended the ninth-annual conference.

Dr. Daryll Ray from the University of Tennessee, Dr. Luther Tweeten from Ohio State University, Dr. Richard Levins from the University of Minnesota, and Dr. Mark Drabenstott from the Federal Reserve in Kansas City gave some interesting outlooks and perspectives on rural America. Here are some of their thoughts:

  • Low commodity prices are a result of public financial technology that outpaces the domestic population growth and export demand.

  • The four beneficiaries are livestock producers, importers, landowners, and the agribusiness sectors where producers purchase inputs.

  • The high expectation of China for exports never materialized for basic commodities, and this country has now become a net exporter of corn.

  • South America has increased supply of corn and soybeans beyond the decreases that have occurred in Russia, the Ukraine, Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

  • The speakers stressed that we have tighter supplies than ever before, and any major weather or unexpected event could boost prices.

    The United States is the only major world producer that tends to keep higher inventory and stocks when compared to other regions.

    The competitively efficient farm has always been and will be efficient, but they are becoming fewer in number.

    Quotes From the Conference

    "Professors are paid to be out of touch with reality."

    "Sixty percent of farm program payments are passed on to the landlord."

    Next year, if you get a chance, this is a "can’t miss" conference with a five-star rating for producers and agribusinesses!

    This is the 100th Road Warrior of Agriculture column! Wow, time flies when you’re having fun!

    I’ll be traveling to Pennsylvania and Kansas this week.

    My e-mail address is:sullylab@vt.edu

    Editors' note: Dave Kohl, Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.

    To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.

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