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2014 Illinois Farm Economics Summit scheduled

Published November 7, 2014
Aerial farmland

URBANA, Ill.  –This year has seen plummeting crop prices due to record yields alongside skyrocketing livestock prices as a result of the pork virus and drought-ravaged beef. At this year’s Illinois Farm Economics Summit, agricultural economists from the University of Illinois’s farmdoc team will explore the farm profitability outlook and management challenges from several perspectives, including the 2015 outlook for prices, farm income prospects, long-term grain price prospects, and the new farm programs.

“Crop producers now face a variety of difficult decisions to deal with the diminished revenue outlook,” said U of I agricultural economist Scott Irwin. “One important decision that looms large is the farm program signup.  Income support from the new farm program is likely to be much more important than was expected just a few months ago so this economics summit comes at a good time to help farmers manage some of the challenges and make vital decisions.  Much of this year’s program focuses on the new farm program options and how to decide which option is likely to work best for a particular farm operation.”

The summit is designed primarily with information that will be helpful to farm operators, farm owners, agriculture lenders, and agribusiness professionals. Speakers from the University of Illinois farmdoc team will explore the farm profitability outlook and management challenges from several perspectives, including the direction of prices, government reports and data, estate planning, forecasting returns, crop insurance choices, and changes to farm programs.

Irwin said that the format for the meetings will be fast-paced and allow plenty of time for questions from the audience.

Sponsored by U of I Extension, the farm economics summit will be offered at five different locations during the month of December. The dates and locations are as follows:

Monday, Dec. 15  - DeKalb, Faranda’s Banquet Center

Tuesday, Dec. 16 – Peoria, Peoria Civic Center

Wednesday, Dec. 17 – Springfield, Crowne Plaza

Thursday, Dec. 18 - Mt. Vernon, Holiday Inn

Friday, Dec. 19 – Champaign, iHotel and Conference Center

The sessions will begin at 7:45 a.m. and conclude at 1:30 p.m. The advance registration fee is $65 per person and includes lunch, refreshments, and all meeting materials. The online pre-registration deadline is Dec. 8. Registration at the door will be $75 per person as space permits.

Registration questions can be addressed to Nancy Simpson (; 217-244-9687). For the complete agenda and list of speakers, visit