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Ag Economy - Quarterly

The Ag Globe Trotter

Dr. David M. Kohl

Welcome to the quarterly editions of The Ag Globe Trotter  by Dr. Dave Kohl.


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  • Disney and Agricultural Leadership
    While some may wonder how a trip to the Disney complex relates to the management of farms and ranches, there are actually several connections.
  • The Seasons of Agriculture
    With the close of 2017, it’s important to examine the trends and events that are impacting the agriculture industry. It’s time to raise the periscope to view the drivers of change next year and beyond. Thus, let’s follow the cycles.
  • Megatrends 2018 to 2025
    The terms “perceptual acuity” and “20/20 foresight” stuck in my mind during an impromptu brainstorming session at a recent agricultural conference. At this casual meeting, the intellectual energy flowed like water, and bounced around to a wide range of topics. I jotted down notes on a napkin, capturing some of which were macro factors while others were at the grassroots level. Let’s take a look at some thoughts that emerged from this informal power session.
  • Views from the Road
    From interactions and discussions with producers, lenders, government agencies and agribusinesses around the country, several pertinent trends to examine appear. These observations point to the state of the state of agriculture, and to changes transforming the landscape of today’s industry. As we approach the quarter-century mark of 2025, it is important to review agriculture’s recent economic evolution as well as emerging trends that will carry the industry into the future.
  • World Economics at a Crossroad
    Today, the economics of agriculture, as well as the general economy, stand at a crossroad with uncertainty in each direction. Further, the propensity and magnitude of change in agriculture and rural sectors add to the unknown. As we attempt to plan around those unknown elements, it is useful to identify the most likely sources of disruption and change.
  • Observations
    Over the course of the year, I observed the changing landscape of agriculture. Through my travel, networking, presentations and participation in numerous events, I witnessed the dynamics and shifts in different sectors of the industry.
  • Slow Growth Orbit
    Today’s economic realities show sporadic as well as weak growth, both domestically and internationally. In agriculture, economic challenges are magnified as the industry continues to adjust after the recent years of stellar economic growth and the commodity super cycle.
  • Millennial Mindset
    Oh millennials! Those individuals18 to 34 years of age are changing the world. The millennial generation now numbers over 80 million and demographically have become the “pig in the python” exceeding the baby boomer generation, or those born between 1946 in 1964.
  • Anatomy of a Recession
    As the year 2016 progresses, more discussions center around the possibility of recession. With extreme world market volatility, stock market twists and political uncertainty, one has to be alert for the possibility of recession in the general economy and, more importantly, in the agricultural and rural economies.
  • Outlook
    The first 15 years of the 21st century are in the history books. In this time period, many catalysts for change, along with various twists and turns, created an economic environment full of surprises for agriculture. In ten years, a quarter of this century will be gone. For continued success, it is important to discuss future direction based on the past and examine those issues in front of agricultural strategists.