Corn combineAn ag industry analyst says the economic downturn is hitting all sectors of agriculture and virtually all Iowa farmers are feeling the brunt. Dave Miller, director of research and commodity services for the Iowa Farm Bureau, says every commodity is being impacted.

“Corn prices are down more than half from where they peaked a couple of years ago,” Miller says. “Soybeans are down about 60%, hogs are down 45% from two years ago, cattle are down 35% this year. It’s across the board with all of the major commodities we produce here in Iowa.” Miller says part of the reason for the economic drop is tied to large crops globally.

“We really have had very few production problems for the last four years across the world,” Miller says. “That is leading to good growth in consumption but it’s continuing to build stocks as the production has continued to outpace production and that’s putting pressure on prices.” Miller says it’s an unfortunate reality but the situation won’t likely improve until there’s some monumental natural disaster.

“There is no big new demand on the immediate horizon, such as we had with the development of the biofuels industry a decade ago,” Miller says. “Coming out of this is probably going to happen because of weather problems someplace significant around the world.” Miller says you don’t often get five years in a row without inclement weather impacting agriculture.

(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)