Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference to look into future


COLUMBUS — Farmers in Ohio and across the Midwest might have reason to be optimistic this year. Prices for soybeans, corn and wheat have risen in 2020, and total net cash income from U.S. farms is expected to be up this year by 4.5%.

That’s partly because of an increase in government payments to farmers. Those payments will make up 32% of this year’s net cash income from all U.S. farms, more than double the portion those payments typically account for, said Ben Brown, an assistant professor of agricultural risk management at the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Traditionally, government assistance to farmers has made up about 14% of the annual net cash income from farms in the U.S.

Government payments to farmers will be among the many policy issues that will be discussed at the Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference Nov. 9-13. The conference will be a series of two-hour online webinars Nov. 9, 10, 12 and 13 hosted by the CFAES Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics.

Each day will focus on a different topic. Nov. 9 will be on agricultural finance; Nov. 10, agricultural and environmental policy; Nov. 12, agricultural trade and the health of the U.S. economy; and Nov. 13, grain, livestock and consumer demand projections.

Agricultural economists from CFAES will speak along with other experts from Washington, D.C., other leading land-grant institutions and the Federal Reserve System.

The webinars begin at noon and include a daily panel discussion that starts at 1 p.m. and invites people in the audience to ask questions. Speakers at the conference will offer their recap of 2020 and forecasts for 2021 at the national, regional, and local levels, Brown said.

To register and for more information about the conference, visit


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