What is in this article?:
- Good fiscal news: emerging economies lead the global recovery. “And those economies still look to the United States for products.”
- Demand for agriculture land is fueled by equity capital returns. Agriculture looks very good in relation to other assets and has remained steady over the past few years.
- A weak dollar supports increased agriculture commodity trade.
- With estimated world population at 9 billion by 2050, demand for food will increase significantly.
- Demand for energy crops also will compete for acreage.
Conklin said Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas, the likely chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, has indicated he prefers to wait until 2012 to begin farm bill discussions.
Cap and trade legislation, Conklin said, is likely dead, but the EPA “will play a larger role in ag policy.” The Department of Energy may also be a bigger player. Farms and ranches, which have been considered “non-point source” pollution sites, may become point-source sites.
He’s encouraged that “a lot of groups are beginning to focus on finding market-based solutions to environmental problems. Some are looking for a more flexible approach to regulations. That’s a positive approach.”
Conklin said agriculture, food and rural policy likely will continue to see a sluggish overall economy and high unemployment, budget pressures, high commodity prices and rising food costs and a “broader range of stakeholders for the farm bill.”