Ag Outlook for 2024: Good Not Great

Ag Outlook for 2024: Good Not Great

The outlook for the agricultural economy in 2024 is slightly less optimistic compared to the outlook for 2023. According to Chad Hart, a professor at Iowa State University, the prospects for the upcoming year are not entirely bleak. He suggests that it could be a situation of things reverting to a more typical or normal state.

“When you think back to 2020, 2021, and 2022, we had some very strong years for the farm economy. And the idea is we couldn't expect that to continue. We've seen our prices decline, we're seeing things tighten up as far as profit margins are concerned, but for most commodities, I would argue we're around breakeven, which I would argue is around normal.”

“Now we've got our definite weak spots. Dairy has struggled hard in 2023. Pork has struggled as well, significantly.”

"When you think about it, what we are used to - say you go back 5-10 years ago - yes, we would have been talking lower prices and lower costs. Now we're talking higher prices and higher costs, so prices don't have to fall back to where they were to create problems for us. Think of it as the profits we've gathered over the past few years, we've reinvested that back in agriculture. By that reinvestment, we have driven those input costs up to match the prices we have today.”

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