Home Indiana Agriculture News Purdue Analyzes Farm Economy at Commodity Classic. SHARE By Gary Truitt – Mar 3, 2017 Purdue Analyzes Farm Economy at Commodity Classic.The state of the farm economy is top of mind at Commodity Classic. As a result, the Purdue University economic outlook put on by the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture drew a standing room only crowd.Jim Mintert, with the Center for Commercial Agriculture, gave a detailed and sobering analysis of the current state of the U.S. farm economy. Mintert said the key to survival is management, “We see 2017 as another tough year, but farm operating costs are coming down. We expect to see operating costs come down to equal the price received by growers over the next 2 to 3 years. We do not expect commodity prices to increase to the point of covering the cost of production for several years. Thus, the key is how can producers hang on for 2017 and 2018.” He said fertilizer costs and cash rents will continue to decline, but the costs of seed and crop protection chemicals will continue to rise.Just after the Purdue program one of the largest farm trade shows opened at Commodity Classic, sporting the latest in production technology and equipment. Mintert cautioned growers about spending on capital purchases, “Producers with tight working capital should only make capital purchases if they really need the equipment.” He added that growers should not make a purchase just to save on taxes, a practice that has been common over the past few years.Dr. Jason Henderson, Assistant Dean of Agriculture at Purdue, told the crowd that interest rates will be going up and said the Federal Reserve has the goal of having a prime rate of 3% in the next few years. He urged growers to not go deeper into debt the next few years.The program ended on an optimistic note with over a third of the audience indicating they feel their farms will be better off financially a year from now. The new barometer of the level of optimism of U.S. farmers will be released by Purdue and the CME group on Tuesday. Purdue Analyzes Farm Economy at Commodity Classic. Facebook Twitter Facebook Twitter SHARE Previous articleFuels America Cuts Ties With RFANext articleMorning Outlook Gary Truitt
What’s the best way to protect waters threatened by pollution and encroaching development? Recreation is the answer, says American Rivers. The D.C.-based nonprofit just unveiled its Blue Trails Guide, highlighting the best in river recreation.Congaree Wateree ConfluenceA blue trail is the water equivalent of a hiking trail. Specific routes are developed on existing bodies of water with the idea of giving canoeists and kayakers a destination adventure.“Blue trails provide communities with more recreation opportunities and healthier rivers for years to come,” says Jamie Mierau, Director of River Protection for American Rivers.The organization recently created its first blue trail on the Congaree River in South Carolina. The 50-mile trail starts in the capital city of Columbia before moving in the majestic hardwood confines of Congaree National Park. Along the way, paddlers can stop and camp on shoreline sandbars and explore granite quarries.Congaree RiverThe creation of the Congaree River trail required cooperation of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the National Park Service, a land trust, and two local counties. New blue trails are possible for the Southeast, but they will require efforts from land agencies and local communities.“To have a successful blue trail, you need a group of partners who are dedicated to long-term maintenance,” Mierau says.Blue Trails in the SoutheastCongaree River Blue Trail, S.C.The first blue trail launched by American Rivers, the Congaree River Trail starts in Columbia, then continues downstream into Congaree National Park, home to the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest in the U.S. Work has begun on the 75-mile Wateree River Blue Trail, which will start near Camden, S.C., and continue to its confluence with Congaree.Rappahannock River Water Trail, Va.The 30-mile blue trail was developed after the removal of the Embrey Dam in 2004. The 30-mile trail helped build support for a critical 4,200-acre conservation easement along the river and resulted in streamside buffers that provide natural protection for Fredericksburg’s water supply.Roanoke River Water Trail, N.C.The Lower Roanoke River trail system features a series of water-bound camping structures that allow paddlers to do overnight trips in the water jungles of North Carolina’s coastal plain, which features old-growth habitat that’s home to black bears, river otters, bobcat, and over 200 species of birds.