It seems that everybody, going back at least to Thomas Jefferson, loves small family farms.
Yet those beloved small farms are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Big farms are taking over.
According to the latest census of American agriculture, released this year, there are two million farms in America. But just four percent of those farms account for two-thirds of all agricultural production.
The two-day Emerging Issues in Agricultural Lending Symposium at MU ended Thursday. This is the second year for the symposium, which gathered a variety of agricultural lenders such as loan officers, credit analysists, regulators and board members.
The symposium brought in experts to speak to lenders on challenges the agriculture industry is currently facing and possible solutions.
Symposium Director Joe Horner says the symposium gives an opportunity for experts to share changes with lenders and for lenders to have a chance to share their ideas.
Corn prices hit record highs this past August when they soared to over $8 a bushel, in large part because the drought hammering U.S. farms decimated corn stocks. Such prices were a windfall for Midwest farmers who actually had corn to sell. But could high corn prices hurt farmers if they drive buyers looking for cheaper grain and feed to South American farms?