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Best of NAMA 2024


by Keith Good, University of Illinois Farmdoc project

Speaking on Thursday at USDA's Agricultural Outlook Forum, USDA Chief Economist Seth Meyer provided a broad outlook for U.S. agriculture. Today's update provides an overview of key aspects of Dr. Meyer's presentation.

In his speech Thursday (transcript / slides), Dr. Meyer noted that, "One year ago, when I presented the outlook that had been constructed over the prior weeks, it was less than 24 hours since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, an event that injected tremendous uncertainty into agriculture and energy-related markets. Risk and uncertainty have always been fundamental characteristics of farming, and few other industries are as vulnerable to the vagaries of the weather or the threat of long-term effects of climate change. However, the war in Ukraine is unlike a drought as it had a sudden beginning. It also has no clear anticipated conclusion and remains a source of uncertainty in agricultural markets even as the human tragedy continues.

More narrowly, Reuters writer Julie Ingwersen reported on Thursday that, "Corn seedings were pegged at 91.0 million acres, up from 88.6 million in 2022, and soybean seedings at 87.5 million acres, unchanged from last year, the USDA said at its annual Agricultural Outlook Forum. Wheat plantings were forecast at 49.5 million acres, a seven-year high, up from 45.7 million in 2022."

"The Outlook for U.S. Agriculture - 2023 U.S. Agriculture: Seeds of Growth Through Innovation," USDA Chief Economist Seth Meyer, February 2023.

And with respect to prices, Dr. Meyer noted that, "Corn, soybean, wheat, cotton, and rice prices received by producers for the 2023/24 crops are expected to decline relative to the prior year, but nevertheless remain high relative to recent history."

To read the entire report click here.

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