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June 26, 2014

Ag Sector Best Part of U.S. Economy in 2013

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

In 2013, the agriculture sector of the U.S. economy grew 16.4 percent, which is the most it has grown in a year since at least 1998. American Farm Bureau Chief Economist Bob Young explains what this growth means in this story with Seanica Otterby.
OtterbyLast year was one of the agriculture sector’s better years, according to American Farm Bureau Chief Economist Bob Young. He says a number of things came together at the right time for agriculture.
YoungWe did have high prices coming off the 2012 drought situations. We did have a good size crop, so we had a lot of product to sell at reasonably strong prices.
OtterbyDespite this double digit growth in 2013, Young says farmers should be cautious about how 2014 will turn out.
YoungAlmost every projection that I’ve seen for 2014 are for numbers to be off pretty markedly from where they were last year that we could be down 20 percent from revenue levels of last year. Livestock sector, on the other hand, doing reasonably well, but just that drop in crop revenue I think is going to pull things down markedly for 2014 relative to 2013.
OtterbyYoung suggests farmers look for pricing opportunities when they present themselves.
YoungWe get any kind of a weather scare here as we move through the summer and prices pop, I’d certainly be ready to take advantage of those. Livestock side, might want to price some feed here in the next few weeks or so as the market might begin to sag. Expectations are for a really good crop. On the other hand, the livestock prices are pretty good, so might want to think about that as well from the selling side.
OtterbySeanica Otterby, Washington.

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