In this year of recession as farmers head into planting season, USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber says the price outlook and the input cost outlook are worse than they were last year. However he says even with those circumstances the ag sector is holding up better than most sectors.
"Input costs actually have come down to about levels where they were last year, but they've been high for a long time," Glauber said. "Presumably there are a number of farmers who bought at higher prices back in the fall and then earlier this year. That said, you know we're coming off of, for many crop producers at least, coming off of a record year in terms of high prices, so as a sector agriculture is coming into this weaker price environment in far better shape than many other sectors in the economy.
In terms of credit for farmers, although banks may have tighter collateral requirements for loans, Glauber says credit is available, which can't be said for many sectors.