News Column

Young farmers learn crop future

July 16, 2014

By Josie Musico, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Texas



July 16--There's an uncertain crop market out there with some scary possibilities -- what do you do?

With no abundance of easy answers, careful planning can help farmers make the right choice, Mark Welch said Tuesday.

Welch, an economist with Texas A&M AgriLife, described risk management scenarios during a presentation at the 2014 Next Generation Agricultural Conference.

"Do you have the discipline and determination to carry out the plan? If we don't have this foundation, we're very limited in our ability for success," he told a group of young farming enthusiasts at Texas Tech'sFrazier Alumni Pavilion.

First, he advised farmers to be aware that environmental conditions are making their jobs more difficult, but demand for their commodities is growing with the world's population.

"Know three things: It's getting hotter, it's getting drier and the world needs more and more of what we do on a daily basis. That creates some challenges," he said.

Welch said some of the crops his audience is likely to grow are becoming less elastic, an economic term that describes consumers' likelihood to purchase a product as their budget changes. Corn, for example, is growing more inelastic, meaning its demand is more recession-proof than, say, luxury cars or vacation packages.

"Corn is driving the world feed grain price," he said. "They want corn, and they'll pay whatever they have to get it. That's inelastic, and we're seeing it more and more in grains."

A 1 percent change in corn supply could mean a 5 percent change in price, he said. Of course, that means a single weather disaster in the Midwest could significantly hinder the overall economy.

"The market's becoming much more responsive to small changes," he said.

Hosted by AgriLife and Capital Farm Credit, the conference was aimed toward young agricultural producers and prospective producers.

Clint Robinson, a senior vice president with Capital Farm Credit in Lubbock, said with many farmers approaching retirement age, recruiting a next generation is crucial. Educational programs such as Tuesday's can help.

"The average age of a farmer is increasing, so we have to have replacement farmers," he said. "Farming is changing so much, and these young farmers need to have the tools to be resourceful."

Other presentations described estate planning, analyzing and financing farming operations, pesticide laws and national agricultural policy.

josephine.musico@lubbockonline.com

--766-8796

www.facebook.com/pages/Region-Agriculture

Follow Josie on Twitter

@josiemusico

___

(c)2014 the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas)

Visit the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas) at www.lubbockonline.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel



Source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (TX)


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters