Ag economist sees caution signs

Published online: Jan 24, 2013
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Dr. David Kohl isn't forecasting an end to what he calls the "Super Cycle" that agriculture is experiencing. 

But the noted ag economist, consultant and professor emeritus at Virginia Tech says there are some cautionary signs that farmers should watch for. One of those would be a slowdown in the economies of emerging nations.

"Like the BRICS and the KIMT nations - that being Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - and South Korea, Indonesia, Mexico and Turkey," Kohl says. "If they start slowing down, it may take some of the glow off the Super Cycle."

Another factor to watch, Kohl says, is interest rates.

"That's a critical variable, particularly when it pertains to land values," he says. "If they start going up, that may take a little bit of this glow off this red-hot land market."

And a third factor, Kohl says, is government policy on renewable fuels "and also the Federal Reserve ... they've been very accommodative and that has definitely helped.

Kohl commented to Brownfield at an ag management expo in Beatrice, Neb.