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Purdue agricultural economists highlight inflation and pandemic-related uncertainties in annual outlook

The Purdue Agricultural Economics Report’s annual outlook issue identifies key factors that may affect the agricultural economy in the coming year. For 2022, Purdue experts cite inflation and COVID-19 uncertainty as key issues impacting food prices, general economy performance, farm costs and returns, farm financials and household economics.

Jayson Lusk, Purdue University Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics, tackles the issue of increasing food prices in the coming year, suggesting that slowing government spending may slow the rate of inflation. Larry DeBoer, professor emeritus, examines the role of inflationary expectations on the broad economy, asserting that price increases in 2021, as well as how continued COVID-19 complications may have a continued negative effect on economic recovery. Maria Marshall, professor and the Jim and Lois Ackerman Endowed Chair of Agricultural Economics, identifies the challenges that inflation places on households, especially those in rural areas, as they relate to childcare and employment. In the areas of farm management and finance, professors Michael Langemeier and Nicole Olynk Widmar forecast that crop and dairy producers should expect to see increasing input costs and a squeeze on margins in 2022.

Additional articles in the issue focus on topical areas where COVID-19 and inflation are not primary concerns; however, their effects are still being felt. Professor Russell Hillberry and associate professor Roman Keeney focus on changes in trade (supply chains, China) and farm policies (economic shocks impacting the next farm bill), while Brady Brewer, assistant professor, and Todd Kuethe, associate professor and Schrader Endowed Chair in Farmland Economics, look at changing farm land values, cash rents, and expectations for agricultural credit markets in 2022.

The Purdue Agricultural Economics Report is a quarterly publication from the Department of Agricultural Economics in Purdue’s College of Agriculture. Articles in the annual outlook issue are intended to provide a roadmap for understanding challenges facing the agricultural economy.

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