The Purdue-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer completed its third year of operation in 2018 and the barometer’s reach keeps expanding. As the only national survey focused on agricultural producer sentiment, its proven to be a valuable way to gauge the production agriculture sector’s health and mood. Widely quoted in both the agricultural and business press, the monthly surveys create opportunities to query producers on a variety of timely topics ranging from their perspective on agricultural trade to their interest in investing in new technology. In addition to the monthly reports provided via the barometer’s web site (purdue.edu/agbarometer), barometer results were also featured in sessions at USDA’s Ag Outlook Conference in Washington, D.C. and at the Commodity Classic in Anaheim, CA, both held in February.
During 2018 the center coordinated the Purdue Farm Management Tour along with Purdue Extension Educators in Johnson and Shelby counties. Each year the Tour features in-depth discussions with successful farming operations to help attendees identify management strategies they can implement on their own farms to improve profitability. This year’s tour featured stops at four top-notch southern Indiana crop and livestock operations with attendance of nearly 300 farmers and agribusiness staff members.
Webinars and recorded videos continue to be an important component of the Center’s programming. During 2018 the Center produced nine webinars, in addition to providing six recorded videos coordinated with the release of the Ag Economy Barometer. Webinar topics ranged from commodity outlook to a focus on crop insurance decisions. The webinars and recorded videos are available via the Center’s web site or on the Center’s YouTube channel.
The pilot program for the Purdue Farm Business Internship program entered its second year in 2018. The program matches Purdue student interns with progressive commercial operations to provide students with valuable work experience and an opportunity to learn more about farm business operations. Plans to enhance the program in 2019 are underway.
Finally, the Center launched a new tool this past year, the Crop Basis Tool. The Tool provides historical basis data to help Eastern Corn Belt producers forecast corn and soybean basis for their region. More details regarding the Tool are available in this year’s report.
Thank you for interest in and support of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture. As always, if you have suggestions for future programs or research, or you just want to chat, we’d love to hear from you.