Monticello to host ag outlook workshop

Posted October 30, 2013 at 10:33 am

“Agricultural lenders and suppliers, producers and policymakers grow nervous when commodity prices, input costs, farmland values and lease rates become volatile,” says Ryan Drollette, farm and agribusiness management specialist for Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach. “Add in prevented and late planting last spring with drought conditions for good measure, and there is plenty of excitement to manage for the 2014 farming year.”

That’s why Drollette recommends that producers and ag professionals attend a Pro-Ag Outlook Seminar Thursday, Nov. 7 in Monticello or Tipton.

The Monticello program will be held at the ISU Extension and Outreach office of Jones County located on the fair grounds at 800 North Maple in Monticello. The Tipton program will be held at the ISU Extension and Outreach office of Cedar County located at 107 Cedar in Cedar.

“Iowa State University agricultural economists have recently cautioned farmers to be prepared for a potential downturn in the values of commodities and land,” notes Drollette. “Especially in light of these volatile conditions, we’re offering opportunities for producers and ag business professionals to get updated information to help make decisions that need to be made during the post-harvest period,” says Drollette.

“The Monticello forum begins at 7:45 a.m. Then we’ll repeat the same program starting at 3:45 p.m. in Tipton,” Drollette explains. “This gives interested producers and professionals a choice of times and locations for the half-day program. We want to give everyone in east central Iowa an opportunity to get this valuable information.”

The opening speaker is Dr. Lee Schulz, ISU Livestock Marketing Analyst. Schulz will review the livestock situation, reviewing the profit potential and survival techniques in the livestock sector. Dr. Schulz will be will sharing information focusing on volatile beef and pork prices driven by demand and world economy factors, including exports, herd size and feed costs.

Dr. Schulz specializes in livestock economics, agricultural marketing and risk management and has expertise in topics including fed cattle trade, feeder cattle pricing, meat demand, and price risk management and analysis. His research on a host of livestock economic issues has resulted in multiple publications and numerous outreach contributions.

Schulz grew up on a cow-calf farm in central Wisconsin. He obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University as well as an M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University.

Ryan Drollette will present an update of the Land Tenure Survey and other farm management topics. The new CSR2 (Corn Suitability Rating) land quality ratings will be discussed by Jim Jensen, Extension farm management specialist.

“I continue to get calls from both producers and owners with questions about fixed and flexible cash rent arrangements and related land value trends,” says Drollette. “I’ll give a brief overview of what we are seeing and what we believe the trends are for 2014.”

The forum features a keynote presentation by Dr. Chad Hart from the Department of Agricultural Economics at ISU. As uncertainty abounds in the crop markets with questions about crop size and global demand, Dr. Hart will discuss the cyclical nature of the markets including the factors shaping the markets and the keys to watch as farmers market their grain over the coming year.

Prior to joining the Department of Economics at ISU, Chad Hart was the U.S. Policy and Insurance Analyst with the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) and a scientist with the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at ISU. His projections and outlooks are sought after by agriculture professionals across Iowa and the nation.

The forums last three and a half to four and a half hours and include either a breakfast or dinner depending on which meeting you attend. The cost to attend the session in Monticello is $35 per person and the cost to attend the Tipton location is $45 per person.

Advance registration is recommended by calling the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Jones County (Monticello) at 319-465-3224; or Cedar County (Tipton) at 563-886-6157.

For more information call your local county ISU Extension and Outreach office or contact Ryan Drollette at the ISU Extension and Outreach of Johnson County office at 319-337-2145 or email Website: