With all the issues facing agriculture, economists have their eyes on several factors. U.S. Farm Report host Tyne Morgan caught up with three economists to see what’s keeping them up at night. Here’s what they said:
“What’s keeping me up at night? The 2019 domestic economy, USMCA agreement, tariffs with other countries, African swine fever in China and weather,” says Scott Brown an economist at the University of Missouri. “Those are the big five that I'm going to be watching in 2019 and how they move markets.”
According to Pat Westhoff from the Food and Ag Policy Institute, China’s tariffs are the No. 1 concern, and should be.
“We always have more concerns on the trade front,” he says. “Will they get it finalized or not?”
He’s also concerned about implementation of the farm bill given the government shutdown and weather in the U.S. and South America.
“One that I think we need to think about particularly at this time of year, is that we've got people dealing with lease renewals and production loan arrangements and things like that,” says Dr. John Anderson from College of the Ozarks. “We need to be thinking about financial stress in the sector and what impact that is having on production decisions.”
Will the perspective plantings report show the effects of credit constraints?
“Right now, I think the market is actually going to be asking us for more corn and fewer soybeans,” he says. “From a credit standpoint,
from a from a cash flow and financing standpoint, it's a lot easier to grow soybeans than it is corn, so we could see the financial situation actually working against market signals to some extent.”