Johnson bullish on ag's future

February 16, 2017

 

PEORIA – When it comes to the long-term future of agriculture, Steve Johnson of Iowa State University believes things look bright.

 

Johnson was a morning speaker during Thursday’s Illinois Soybean Summit at the Peoria Civic Center, hosted by the Illinois Soybean Association. Johnson thinks many in the industry are short-sided and have trouble seeing more than two or three months ahead.

 

“There are going to be some challenges – don’t get me wrong,” Johnson told the crowd.

 

In 30 years, there will likely be a need for 60 or 70 percent more food and the demand will not only be for crops, but for meat too.

 

“That’s about you. That’s about the technology that’s to come,” Johnson said.

 

The world wants more animal products such as dairy, beef and poultry. Johnson sees a need to find more demand while covering supplies. He believes President Trump will be positive for agriculture in the long run, improving our export markets.

 

Johnson said it will take a yield-impacting weather event to bump prices up in the near term. He does not expect a trade war but sees a balance sheet that, for the first time in five years, has the highest supply but a large demand as well. Johnson feels Illinois is blessed with good basis and that is not the case for growers in the western Corn Belt.

 

“I’d want to be rewarding this market in the spring,” Johnson added.

 

The Soybean Summit offered tips to help soybean farmers stay profitable and discussed environmental factors, among other topics.

 

“We’ve got all kinds of challenges and we like to give more information,” explained John Longley, production committee chairman for the Illinois Soybean Association.

 

Soybean growers have enjoyed decent prices as of late, but the future remains uncertain and production challenges could be looming. Longley farms in western Illinois with his daughter in Mercer County not far from the Mississippi River. He experienced good corn and average beans last season.

 

“We had a few problems with sudden death,” Longley admitted.

 

Longley believes 2017 could be a good year but the chance to make a profit could be now.

 

More information can be found at www.ilsoyadvisor.com or www.ilsoy.org.

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