October 7, 2020
Welcome to the new Purdue Agricultural Economics Report (PAER)! Since 1920, the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University has been working to acquire and transmit new economic knowledge to the citizens of Indiana, the nation, and the world. PAER has long been an important component in our efforts to provide value information on today’s real world problems to our diverse stakeholders. The report series carries the legacy that began in 1929, when the department published its large-scale Farm Outlook report. In the more than 90 years that followed that landmark publication, economic challenges have come and gone (and in some cases have come back again). As a result, the information needs of those who turn to PAER for expert advice have also changed.
PAER’s new publication format was designed to reflect these changing needs. We still plan to provide regular updates on the topics that are important to stakeholders, but we hope our readers will benefit from many of the new features of PAER. In the new format, articles will be posted individually which will allow us to provide more timely information as it become available. Users will be able to browse articles by topic or keyword and easily share articles through social media. We have to admit that the new PAER website is still a bit of a “work in progress.” We’re currently in the process of converting previous issues to the new publication format, and we look forward to launching additional content in support of PAER articles, such as video presentations and podcast discussions.
Our first digital issue demonstrates the breadth and depth of expertise of the Department of Agricultural Economics. First, a research team led by Farm Management Specialist Renee Wiatt and Professor Maria Marshall discuss their recent findings on small business management following a natural disaster. They discuss the challenges of intermingling financial decisions between the household and family business. Second, Professor Larry DeBoer and Extension Educator Tamara Ogle outline upcoming farmland property tax declines across Indiana. Third, Professor Todd Kuethe summarizes his recent research on the downward bias in USDA’s aggregate farm income forecasts. Fourth, Professor Jayson Lusk explains the impact of COVID19 on hog and pork prices. Fifth, Professor Brady Brewer summarizes key findings of a survey on agribusiness’ use of data conducted by the Department’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business (CAB). Sixth, Professors Carson Reeling, Nicole Olynk-Widmar, and Jason Lusk, along with former graduate student Aaron Staples, discuss their research in the market for beer produced using sustainable practices.
The final article in this issue was written by Professor, and former Department Head, Ken Foster. Dr. Foster provides a tribute to recently retired Professor Chris Hurt who previously served as PAER Editor. Dr. Hurt was a strong advocate for and champion of PAER, and we join Dr. Foster in thanking him for his many years of leadership and service.
Before we go, we would be remiss to not also thank our web development team Sarah Zahn and Kami Goodwin for their outstanding work in developing the new PAER website. We also wish to the thank Jayson Lusk, our department head, who served as the PAER editor for several recent issues and Linda Klotz who served as an administrative assistant and editor of the PAER alongside Chris Hurt.
– PAER Editors
Brady Brewer, Assistant Professor
Roman Keeney, Associate Professor
Todd Kuethe, Associate Professor and Schrader Endowed Chair in Farmland Economics