Illinois Farm Economics Summit in December: Does it Still Pay to Farm?

The big story in Illinois agriculture in 2016 continues to be the 'margin squeeze' faced by crop producers — brought on by low corn, soybean, and wheat prices and costs of production that have yet to fully adjust to the new price realities, according to one U of I agricultural economist. At present prices, further cost of production reductions will be required. Producers and landowners face a series of difficult management challenges as they grapple with how to adjust to the changed environment.

Should cash rents be lowered? If yes, by how much? How much relief will be seen through lower fertilizer and seed prices? What are the prospects for grain prices to recover from current depressed levels? The University of Illinois Extension and members of the farmdoc team from the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics in the College of ACES is offering a series of five Farm Economics Summit meetings to help producers navigate these difficult times.

Speakers at the summit will explore the farm profitability outlook and management challenges from several perspectives, including the 2017 outlook for prices, farm financial management in tough times, needed changes in farmland leases, updates on the farm program safety net, agricultural credit conditions, and long-term weather and yield trends. The format for the meeting will be fast-paced and allow plenty of time for questions from the audience.

Sponsored by U of I Extension, the farm economics summit will be offered at five different locations during the month of December.

The dates and locations are as follows:

Monday, Dec. 12 -- Champaign, iHotel and Conference Center
Tuesday, Dec. 13 -- Dekalb, Faranda’s Banquet Center
Wednesday, Dec. 14 -- Peoria, Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino
Thursday, Dec. 15 -- Springfield, Crowne Plaza
Friday, Dec. 16 -- Mt. Vernon, Holiday Inn

The sessions will begin at 7:45 a.m. and conclude at 1:30 p.m. The advance registration fee is $70 per person and includes lunch, refreshments, and all meeting materials. Register online at by Dec. 5, which includes a $5 discount. Registration at the door is $75 per person as space permits.

For questions about registration, contact Nancy Simpson (; 217-244-9687).

See the website for the complete agenda and list of speakers at .

For more information on University of Illinois Extension programming in Bond, Clinton, Jefferson, Marion & Washington Counties, visit the U of I Extension website at For information on Effingham County visit