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Wondering what's ahead for farmers and agricultural businesses in 2016? Learn what to expect this year during an agricultural outlook webinar Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m. EST, presented by AEDE economists. Registration for the webinar is $10 by Jan. 25 and can be made at regonline.com/AgOutlook2016. Webinar login information will be sent to all registrants before the event.

An aging American farm population, the need to successfully transition land ownership from senior farmers to new industry entrants, and providing support and training for these beginning farmers, are top concerns for the future of the American farming industry, said an agricultural economist in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

The 2016 economic outlook looks good, says an expert in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. “We are entering our 79th month of economic expansion in the U.S., which is the fifth longest period on record,” said Mark Partridge, the C. William Swank Chair in Rural-Urban Policy in the college. “I remain optimistic on national growth."

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could significantly boost the export market potential for American farmers, as well as other sectors of the U.S. economy, says an economist with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. “TPP is important as it is the largest regional free trade agreement that has been struck in the past two decades,” said Ian Sheldon, the Andersons Professor of International Trade in the college’s Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE).

Although cropland values in Ohio have increased in recent years, low projected profit margins next year will likely restrict land values from increasing in 2016 and may cause land values to decrease, said Barry Ward, production business management leader for Ohio State University Extension and an AEDE faculty member. Ward spoke during Ohio State's 2015-2016 Agricultural Policy and Outlook series

With the slowing Chinese economy contributing to stagnant demand growth and the ample supply resulting from large harvests in major production nations the past two years, along with destocking in Argentina and China, the 2016 grain market will remain one of flat, weak prices, recently said Matt Roberts who spoke Dec. 7 during the kickoff of Ohio State's 2015-2016 Agricultural Policy and Outlook series.

Ohio State kicked off its 2015-2016 Agricultural Policy and Outlook series on Dec. 7. The event initiates a series of local meetings to be held statewide. The meetings feature presentations by AEDE experts on matters the agricultural community should expect in 2016, including policy changes, key issues and market behavior with respect to farm, food and energy resources, and the environment.

After seven years of negotiations, 12 nations agreed to terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement in early October. While each country now needs to ratify the agreement for it to be put into effect, Ian Sheldon, an international trade expert at The Ohio State University said the TPP agreement could significantly boost the market potential for American farmers, entrepreneurs and other small-business owners.

While cropland values in Ohio increased in each of the past three years, several factors, including continued low interest rates, low debt-to-asset ratios and lower profit margins, are likely going to make for a relatively flat land market in 2015, recently said Barry Ward an AEDE economist.

The August 2014 water crisis in Toledo, Ohio, impacted Ohioans’ views of Lake Erie algae problems by increasing the attribution of blame of algae growth on crop and animal agriculture, as well as increasing the levels of reported fear and concern among citizens, said Brian Roe, an AEDE economist.

With recent food price spikes impacting global food security and a growing reliance on emerging economies to produce our world’s agricultural supplies, encouraging greater discussion on the impact that genetically modified (GM) crops have had on agricultural productivity is important, recently said Ian Sheldon, Ohio State's Andersons Professor of International Trade.

The U.S. and Ohio economies will continue to recover from the Great Recession in 2015 with continued but slow growth, according to Mark Partridge, an AEDE professor who holds the C. William Swank Chair in Rural-Urban Policy. Partridge, who specializes in the analysis of regional growth patterns, spoke during the Dec. 1 kickoff of the college’s 2014-2015 Agricultural Policy and Outlook series.

By 2050, the world’s population will reach 9 to 9.5 billion, and by the end of the century, the population in Africa is expected to be three times its current level, according to AEDE professor Douglas Southgate. As a result, food insecurity in Africa will be much more severe than in other parts of the world, Southgate said during the Dec. 1 kickoff of the college’s 2014-2015 Agricultural Policy and Outlook series.

Top New Year’s resolutions typically include pledges to lose weight, exercise more, get organized or quit smoking. But one New Year’s resolution farmers and farm land owners may want to include on their list is to make sure they understand all of the factors they should consider before making decisions about crop programs offered as part of the 2014 farm bill, according to AEDE professor Carl Zulauf.

“Part of our failure to reduce phosphorus emissions stems from the use of voluntary approaches for agriculture, which struggle to reduce pollution even under the best circumstances,” Brent Sohngen, an AEDE professor and director of Ohio State's Environmental Policy Initiative, said Dec. 1 during the kickoff of the college’s 2014-2015 Agricultural Policy and Outlook series.

U.S. milk production and dairy exports have increased significantly over the last decade, with an increase in milk production of 34 billion pounds from 2003 to 2014 and a dairy export increase of 25.7 billion pounds, said Cameron Thraen, AEDE associate professor, at the kickoff of the college’s 2014-2015 Agricultural Policy and Outlook series where he offered a dairy industry trends outlook for 2015. 

Attend an upcoming Agricultural Policy and Outlook meeting in your county during December 2014 and January 2015. The meetings will feature presentations by AEDE experts on key issues in the agricultural community for 2015, including policy changes, key issues, and market behavior with respect to farm, food and energy resources, and the environment.

Attend one of the dozen agricultural policy and outlook county meetings to be held throughout Ohio in December 2013. The meetings will feature presentations from AEDE experts on policy changes, key issues and market behavior with respect to farm, food and energy resources, and the environment. 

Thanks to increased global grain production and lower domestic demand for grain for ethanol, crop producers will find 2014 to be tougher than the past few years and should prepare now for lower prices, AEDE agricultural economist Matt Roberts recently noted at a policy briefing.

Mark Partridge, Ohio State’s C. William Swank Chair in Rural-Urban Policy, recently offered policymakers a 2014 Ohio and national economic forecast. In his forecast, Partridge said that at a national level he anticipates that the economy will continue to improve, albeit slowly, as it has since the recession ended in mid-2009. 

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