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View from the Cab: A glimpse into ag

Dr. Kohl speaks at the Illinois Land Values Conference in Bloomington last month / CIFN photo.

Those of us attending the recent Illinois Land Values Conference in Bloomington from the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers heard from Dr. Dave Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech.

Dr. Kohl provided an interesting look at the ag economy and a glimpse of the road ahead. He explained that the older farmers have not left the industry which is helping the land market. The booming farm period we saw from 2006-2012 is only replicated once every 30 or so years, according to Kohl.

“Land values have basically maintained resiliency,” Kohl explained.

Kohl feels the working capital bridge is becoming unstable and the lenders and non-traditionalists getting operating credit will be critical moving forward. Those really smart producers will be extremely selective about what they bring in.

“It’s going to be about transition management.”

The next 20 years in ag will likely be consumer driven and it’s not going to be a “one size fits all” situation, according to Kohl.

Kohl joined the Virginia Tech faculty back in 1978 and has dedicated his career to instruction and research in ag finance and management. He served as professor of ag finance and small business management and entrepreneurship in the Virginia Tech Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. More than 10,000 students have been taught by Kohl, who has received 11 major teaching awards. He is a two-time recipient of the American Agricultural Economics Association Distinguished Teaching award.

More on the recent meeting of the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers can be found on the Central Illinois Farm Network website. I also had the chance to interview David Klein of Soy Capital Ag Services, the conference chairman.

Thanks to everyone for coming out to the 2018 Ag Outlook Meeting last week in Fairbury. We had a delicious pizza buffet dinner at Gig’s Place and heard from panelists Merrill Crowley, Jessica Murphy and Aaron Curtis. We appreciate the Bank of Pontiac and Prairie Central Co-op sponsoring the annual event. In case you missed it, the video has been posted to Facebook.

(The View from the Cab is powered each week by Petersen Motors of Fairbury)

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