Gov. Dave Heineman has announced the 2014 Governor’s Ag Conference will be held March 5th and 6th in Kearney.
Heineman says he understands the 26th Ag Conference comes at a time when commodity prices are falling, but he notes farming is cyclical.
“There’ll be ups and downs, bumps along the road and this may be one of them. On the other hand, our cattle producers, I have met with them. They’re having a very good year and they’re prices are looking a little better,” Heineman tells reporters during a conference call. “So, these tend to go in cycles. And, again, I believe we’ll weather the storm and agriculture will continue to be a very strong industry.”
On the Chicago Board of Trade, March corn closed at $4.31 and ¾. On January 28, 2013, March corn settled at $7.29 and ¼.
Soybean prices have slipped as well. March beans today closed at $12.87 and ¾. A year ago, March beans closed at $14.47 and ¾.
State Agriculture Director Greg Ibach worries corn prices could drop more.
“We could see prices below the cost of production, which would be very much of a concern to our corn and soybean producers,” Ibach says. “USDA has already projected that farm income for Nebraska in 2014 is going to be well below what we’ve been experiencing the last few years.”
The conference will be held at the Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Kearney.
Randy Krotz, with the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), kicks off the event on Wednesday, March 5th, with a discussion on how to engage consumers about farming.
Animal welfare and livestock production will be the discussion of Kay Johnson Smith with the Animal Agriculture Alliance based in Washington, D.C.
The governor’s office says Todd Becker, president and chief executive officer of Green Plains Renewable Energy of Omaha will discuss the future of the biofuels sector.
Dr. Ronnie Green, vice chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will discuss the economic advantages of responsible livestock growth in Nebraska.
There will be a registration fee charged. You can register online by clicking here. You can also call the Nebraska Department of Agriculture toll-free at (800) 831-0550.
AUDIO: Gov. Dave Heineman discusses Governor’s Ag Conference during conference call. [4:40]