Welcome to our 2017 Agricultural Outlook. It’s a new year that will bring opportunities and challenges for agricultural industries. While no one can accurately predict the future, it is our mission to help you understand the major economic drivers of the agricultural economy in 2017.

That begins with a new administration in D.C., which is expected to immediately pass an economic stimulus package to accelerate economic growth. That should have some positive impacts for U.S. agriculture but what about the strength of the U.S. dollar, and expectations for higher interest rates and higher inflation?

Speaking of the new administration, there was more anti-trade rhetoric this election season than has been around for a long time. Trade is a foundation of the U.S. agricultural economy. Are we moving into a more protectionism era and a shifting away from globalization? Farm incomes are depressed and the theme of the 2017 outlook is for a continuation of low farm incomes from both crop production as well as the animal industries.

In these articles we give you a commodity-by-commodity evaluation. How long will this downturn last? What does it mean to the financial position of the Ag sector?

It’s all right here for you to read. —Chris Hurt, Editor and Professor of Agricultural Economics