Purdue Extension plans discussion on agribusiness

GREENFIELD — As farmers across the country express concerns about poor finances in the coming year, local agricultural leaders have planned a panel discussion aimed at helping local growers weather tough times.

Purdue University surveyed more than 400 farmers nationwide recently; nearly 80 percent told researchers they expect a trying 2017, according to statistics released by the university.

Bountiful crop yields in recent years have some experts predicting that crop prices will dip below the cost of production, meaning farmers across the country will likely have a harder time making ends meet, officials said.

In response, the Hancock County Purdue Extension Office plans to host a discussion with agricultural experts from across the state who will give local farmers advice on how to remain competitive during tough financial times, said Roy Ballard, agriculture resources educator with the local Purdue Extension office.

The workshop will be conducted from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the extension office, 802 N. Apple St., Greenfield. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Speakers include Michael Langemeier, a professor in Purdue University’s Department of Agricultural Economics, who will open the program with a discussion on an array of financial management topics; and Megan Addison, health and human sciences educator for the local extension office, who will discuss contingency planning for farms and the families who operate them.

Greenfield attorney John Apple also will speak on an array of legal topics impacting agriculture and business, such as proposed changes from Internal Revenue Service regarding farm succession and scheduled changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act.