(Podcast) Episode 014: What Will 2017 Bring for Big Operations, Small and Local Producers, and Rural Communities in the NGP?

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Are things looking up in 2017? The AgEconMT crew chats with Dr. George Haynes, a Professor and Extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics, about the northern Great Plains agricultural markets in 2017. Here are some of the highlights:

Minute 2:40:  Current challenges in Montana ag operations—what do we do when revenues are 50% less than the previous year?

Minute 4:50:  Short term credit issues important and a growing concern for sustaining operations in current market downturn. Where has debt been allocated in the past several years?

Minute 6:30:  What characteristics of producers are most successful in taking on the burdens of the market downturn?

Minute 9:00:  What types of producers are at most risk in these markets?

Minute 11:35: What are the impacts for rural communities?

Minute 13:20:  What have been the saving grace for the eastern MT and western ND communities in the past 4-5 years and do we see this as maintaining their relevance and existence?

Minute 15:10:  What can producers do to remain profitable and sustainable in these uncertain times?

Minute 17:00: Who are the important trade partners for wheat producers?

Minute 17:45: What are critical demand-side factors for beef?

Minute 19:00: How might production of higher quality offset issues with low wheat prices?

Minute 20:00:  What are the key aspects for assessing enterprise profitability? How do living expense considerations play a role in affecting sustainability?

Minute 22:00:  What about other, smaller food producers and markets? What’s going on in those markets and are they facing similar issues as larger commodity markets?

Minute 23:40: How do “local food markets” doing and how have the small operations been able to gain momentum to be recognized for USDA programs and benefits?

Minute 25:00: How many smaller operations can communities sustain?

Minute 27:00: Recent changes and opportunities for the organic market.

Minute 28:30: What are the advantages of the interaction between organic and local.

Have any follow up questions for George or Anton? Didn’t hear something that you know is a big issue in the northern Great Plains’ seed potato sector? Let us know.

(Intro and outro music by Trevor Sensor)

(Photo by Rennett Stowe is licensed under CC BY 4.0)

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About Author

Dr. Anton Bekkerman is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University, joining the faculty in 2009 after completing his PhD at North Carolina State University. Bekkerman's primary areas of research are grain marketing, basis and price forecast modeling, understanding how grain prices are affected by changes in supply chain infrastructures and quality demands, and analyzing the economic trade-offs of adopting alternative dryland cropping systems in Montana. One of his current projects is an investigation of how new grain loading technologies are affecting prices that Montana farmers receive for their wheat. Bekkerman is also examining the economic impacts that Montana's rapidly expanding dry pulse industry will have on the state's crop industry. Although Bekkerman grew up on the east coast, he has recently made a small step toward production agricultural after acquiring three backyard chickens.

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