Ag economist predicts “softer landing” for prices compared to last downturn

Is the ag economy heading toward a downturn similar to what occurred a decade ago?  An extension economist suggests the answer is yes and no.

Chad Hart with Iowa State University says commodity prices in 2023 remind him of 2013.

“So we know things are tightening up.”

He tells Brownfield leaner times are ahead, but not as lean compared to 2015 through 2019.

“And I think that’s one of the big keys even as I look at USDA’s numbers. They see us maybe going below break-even, but not to the depths that we saw that last turnaround.”

Hart expects a “softer landing” this time with prices bottoming out around the cost of production.

“When you go from profitable to right at break-even, as opposed to going through the full ag cycle where we tend to go from profit into some loss to basically balance ourselves back out around zero.”

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