Farm meetings and short courses dot the calendar all around the Southeast December through March. Looking ahead to pests and diseases farmers will face is one thing but trying to determine what the economy and markets will do is another.
After a year of economic shocks that included supply chain disruption, global conflict, tight margins and historic inflation, Purdue University agriculture economists are looking ahead to what the ag sector can expect.
“Signs are pointing to another uncertain and volatile year in agriculture,” says Roman Keeney in the most recent Purdue University Agricultural Economics Report. “In 2023, our experts are assessing the possibility of a recession, impacts from the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, as well as expectations for input costs and food prices.
“The 2018 Farm Bill is set to expire in September, which makes 2023 an important year for farm policy. Following multiple years of emergency support and agriculture benefitting from COVID relief packages, direct government support to agriculture is set to fall dramatically,” says Keeney, who is an associate professor at Perdue.
As he says in the report, the short timeline and a wave of new congressional representatives could make replacing the 2018 Farm Bill in 2023 a significant challenge.
As for crops, according to the report, despite substantially higher production costs, it is not out of the realm of possibility to see positive margins in 2023.
Michael Langemeier, Perdue professor of agricultural economics, says, “The higher cost structure, along with relatively tight margins, increases the importance of carefully scrutinizing input and crop decisions. Producers are encouraged to create crop budgets and generally improve their record keeping.”