Here’s what the Economic Research Service (ERS) has in store for the Agricultural Outlook Forum. We have arranged two afternoon sessions on Thursday, February 20. One will discuss farm income and the other the outlook for food prices.
The food price session, moderated by Michael McConnell of Informa Economics, will provide a perspective on food price inflation, the main factors that contribute to food price movements, and the implications for consumers in the United States and abroad. ERS economist Richard Volpe will present the latest outlook for retail food prices, recent trends in food expenditure patterns, and general-economy considerations. Another ERS economist, Ron Trostle, will discuss the volatility in commodity prices in recent years, and the impacts on food prices. And Keith Wiebe, Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), will address the implications of food prices for global food security.
Todd Davis, Senior Economist with the Farm Bureau, will moderate a session on farm income. Two ERS economists will participate. ERS’s Kevin Patrick will present the most recent USDA estimates and forecasts of net farm income and other financial measures for 2014. Economist Jeremy Weber will cover various measures of the well-being of farm households. Also on the panel is Brent Gloy of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture, who will share some thoughts on the longer-term outlook for farm income and whether current levels of prosperity are sustainable, focusing on such factors as global economic growth patterns, interest rates, and land values.
The Forum session on Food Price Outlook is scheduled for Thursday, February 20 at 1:30 p.m local time. The Farm Income Outlook will be at 3:30 p.m. that afternoon.