Ag is an Economic Engine

February 24, 2009 06:00 PM

Pam Smith, Farm Journal Crops & Issues Editor
The rest of the economy may be singing the blues, but don't count agriculture out. David Kohl, Virginia Tech professor emeritus of agricultural finance and small business management and entrepreneurship, sees agriculture as a bright spot on the economic horizon. "Ag is the kid in school that hasn't gotten the flu yet,” says Kohl. "It's one of this country's best kept secrets.”
Kohl addressed the agricultural media yesterday at the Bayer Crop Science 2009 Ag Issue Forum—a session being held prior to the Commodity Classic in Grapevine, Texas.
Despite depressed commodity prices compared to a year ago, Kohl still sees agriculture as "an economic engine.” However, he admits volatility will remain the "new norm.” Producers can expect to see extended periods of economic moderation worldwide, Kohl predicts. He expects volatility at extremes—both in terms of costs and revenue that will be followed by periods of calm and "dead cat bounces.”
"There will be reprioritizing of business decisions and personal and family decisions. Cash and liquidity will become king,” he maintains.
"We are all going to be better for it,” he adds. "We were living off balance sheets.”

For More Information
2009 Commodity Classic Coverage

You can email Pam Smith at

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