The theme of this year's Illinois Farm Economics Summit is "The Profitability of Illinois Agriculture: Managing in a Turbulent World." To assist producers in navigating these challenges, a series of five meetings are scheduled across Illinois in December sponsored by University of Illinois Extension.

Dates and locations

  • Monday, Dec. 12 - Champaign, I Hotel and Conference Center
  • Tuesday, Dec. 13 - Sycamore, DeKalb County Farm Bureau
  • Wednesday, Dec. 14 - Galesburg, Best Western Prairie Inn
  • Thursday, Dec. 15 - Mt. Vernon, Holiday Inn
  • Friday, Dec. 16 - Bloomington, Doubletree Hotel

"In an era of unstable markets, last year may be hard to top," said U of I agricultural economist Scott Irwin. "Outside markets have endured near financial meltdowns in Europe, a downgrade in the U.S. credit rating, and political turmoil in the Middle East. In the midst of all this, Illinois agriculture generally experienced another year of exceptional returns. To no one's surprise, volatility has also been very high. Exhibit A is the 20 percent drop in corn and soybean prices in September 2011. Understanding the sources of this volatility and how to deal with these large risks is front and center in the minds of all producers."

At the meetings, speakers from the University of Illinois farmdoc team will explore the farm profitability outlook and management challenges from several perspectives, including the direction of prices, government reports and data, estate planning, forecasting returns, crop insurance choices, and changes to farm programs. The format for the meeting will be fast-paced and allow plenty of time for questions from the audience.

The sessions will begin at 7:45 a.m. and conclude at 1:30 p.m. Advance registration fee is $50 per person and includes lunch, refreshments, and all meeting materials. Pre-registration deadline is Dec. 5. Registration at the door will be $65 per person as space permits.

Registration may be completed online at http://farmdoc.illinois.edu/ifes/2011/index.html.

For additional information, contact Sue Esposito at 217-333-5506, or sesposit@illinois.edu.