Strong Demand, but Inconsistent Profitability

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2014-01-01
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Hart, Chad
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Schulz, Lee
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Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) conducts innovative public policy and economic research on agricultural, environmental, and food issues. CARD uniquely combines academic excellence with engagement and anticipatory thinking to inform and benefit society.

CARD researchers develop and apply economic theory, quantitative methods, and interdisciplinary approaches to create relevant knowledge. Communication efforts target state and federal policymakers; the research community; agricultural, food, and environmental groups; individual decision-makers; and international audiences.

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With the arrival of fall, the leaves change, the temperatures drop, and agricultural producers prepare for the winter ahead. This winter looks to be a reversal of fortunes across the agricultural complex. Over the past few years, crop producers have enjoyed record prices and profits, while livestock producers have suffered from high feed costs and negative returns. Now, several sectors of the livestock industry are looking forward to strong prices and good profitability. Meanwhile, the crop sector is staring at the lowest returns in several years. While there are some key differences in the structure of crop and livestock markets, the one similarity they share right now is strong demand for agricultural products.

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