Purdue Extension and the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture will present their "Agricultural Outlook 2015" webinar Sept. 12 to help farmers, land owners, suppliers and others interested in agriculture make better business decisions in the coming year.

The webinar, to begin at 8:30 a.m. EDT (7:30 a.m. CDT), can be accessed at http://www.kaltura.com/tiny/mhwmn.

The program, free to the public, will be presented by Purdue University professors of agricultural economics James Mintert and Corinne Alexander. Mintert also is director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture.

"Yield prospects for the state are among the best in the country, and this means the grain handling and processing industries will be at full capacity," Mintert and Alexander wrote in a preview of the outlook. "Prospects for record total Indiana production of corn and record-high soybean yields are good, although late-season rainfall and early frost still present threats to yields." 

Grain and soybean prices in 2014-2015 will be much lower than in recent years, creating a challenge for Midwest crop farmers, the economists said. As part of the webinar, Mintert and Alexander will discuss strategies for marketing this year's corn and soybean crops.   

As farmers and agribusiness managers are starting to think about what to plant in 2015, Mintert and Alexander will share Purdue's preliminary estimates of costs for 2015 crops along with expected net returns for each crop.

The webinar also will provide an updated economic outlook for livestock producers.

"Livestock producers' income prospects turned up sharply with record-high livestock prices and lower feed costs," Mintert and Alexander noted. The livestock sector is entering an era of recovery following several difficult years. How rapidly livestock producers respond to this recovery by expanding their herds and how quickly that affects prices will be addressed during the webinar.

The economists also will explore one of the most important issues for next year - land values and cash rents. They will provide insight into whether higher yields this fall will offset lower prices and provide more farm income, or less.

"The level of income this year can influence land values and cash rents for 2015, but expected returns for 2015 crop production and interest rates are expected to be more important," they said. "Results from this year's Purdue Land Values Survey suggest that Indiana land values have topped out, and it looks like some adjustment in land values and cash rents will get underway in the year ahead."