FarmPolicy

November 14, 2018

Ag Economy; Farm Bill; Biotech; Biofuels; and, Regulations

Agricultural Economy

AP writer David Pitt reported on Saturday that, “In an interview Friday with The Associated Press, U.S Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack gave his views on topics ranging from low commodity prices this year to dysfunction in Washington and his future.

“Vilsack spoke after touring Iowa Choice Harvest, a Marshalltown company that processes Iowa-grown food.”

Excerpts from the AP “Q and A” article included: “With corn and soybean prices largely below the cost of production are you concerned about farm profitability?

“Many farmers throughout the United States have forward contracts where they’re going to get paid maybe $4 or $5 for a bushel of corn, maybe $13 or $14 for a bushel of soybeans so I think you have to be careful not to conclude that because prices have come down that there isn’t going to be profitability in agriculture.

You also have to recognize as these prices have come down it has created opportunities for other producers, livestock producers in particular, who have been challenged over the course of the last many years with high feed costs now see their cost of doing business coming down. They’re looking at record prices for beef and for pork and we’re also seeing an expanded export market.

Also, that’s precisely the reason we have a farm bill. It creates the safety net that if the prices come down below the price of doing business we have mechanisms in place to ensure that folks can still stay in business.”

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