The roller coaster ride continued this past year for Illinois agriculture. To assist producers in navigating these challenges, a series of five meetings are scheduled across Illinois in December sponsored by University of Illinois Extension. The theme of this year’s 2009 Illinois Farm Economics Summit is “The Profitability of Illinois Agriculture: Profitability at a Crossroads.”

“A major issue this past year was the impact of the sharpest world-wide recession since WWII,” says Darrel Good, University of Illinois professor of agricultural and consumer economics. “Combined with rising input prices, planting delays, and Novel H1N1 2009 influenza fears, this was a year of tremendous uncertainty by any standard.”

Looking forward to 2010, he cites the possibility of better times due to recovery in the global economy and some reduced pressure on input costs. "However, this only emphasizes the need for sound economic information and analysis,” Good adds.

Program speakers will explore the farm profitability outlook from several perspectives, including the direction of prices, outlook for farm returns, impact of speculation on farmer marketing decisions, climate change policy, farm programs and crop insurance, and implications of the economic crisis for agriculture. The format for the meetings will be fast-paced, but will allow plenty of time for questions from the audience. 

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

Dates and locations are:

  • Dec. 14--Champaign, I Hotel and Conference Center
  • Dec. 15--Bloomington, Interstate Center
  • Dec. 16--Galesburg, Best Western Prairie Inn
  • Dec. 17--Rochelle, Hickory Grove Banquet and Conference Center
  • Dec. 18--Mt. Vernon, Holiday Inn

Registration may be completed online. Registration brochures are also available at local University of Illinois Extension offices.

 Source: University of Illinois