Farm Economy Continues to Concern Illinois Farmers
Mon, 09 Dec 2019 09:07:29 CST
The annual Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting member survey reflected three overwhelming themes: Farmers have less optimism for 2020; there is a profound need to regain lost export demand; and building new global markets is vital for the future.
“In 2019, farmers were challenged with historic flooding, delayed planting and harvesting, ongoing trade wars and demand destruction to the biofuels market, all of which were key factors in contributing to a sluggish farm economy and continued uncertainty for our Illinois farmers,” said Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr.
Additional key priorities for members included pushing for USMCA ratification, expanding investment in modern waterway infrastructure on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers and defending the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Uncertainty and lack of optimism in 2020 were reflected in the following members comments:
Holding off on the purchases of new and improved equipment, upgrades and replacements;
Uncertainty regarding how long producers can manage at or below break-even income levels;
Restructuring debt and not being as concerned with growth and development as ‘trying to make it to next year;’
Less income, more instability and more risk;
Expenses high whereas income has not kept up.
Over half of farmer respondents indicated that it was likely that their farm would continue to be farmed by the next generation of their family after their retirement.
“This is the ninth consecutive year we’ve surveyed members to gauge their feelings on key farming issues and concerns,” Guebert said. “It helps us as leaders ensure we’re tackling the issues and needs of our members and prioritizing our resources to the best of our abilities.”
The annual Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting member survey results provided insight into their suggested organizational priorities. The survey, sent to all members who provided their email address to the organization, received over 2,700 responses.
The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more than 386,291 and a voting membership of 79,159. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.
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