Shutdown End Means Movement for Agriculture, Hopefully

On January 25, President Donald Trump signed an agreement to officially end the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. This measure will reopen the closed government agencies until February 15.

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For those in the agricultural marketplace, there are probably two words that come to mind following this development in Washington, DC – thank God! All throughout the early 2019 winter trade shows, attendees and exhibitors have been anxious as always to talk about their plans for the upcoming growing season. Hot topics of discussion have included the likelihood of more corn being planted than soybeans for the year, the number of farms and dairies that have been forced to close thus far this year, and how difficult obtaining bank loans has become without any firm data from the government regarding agriculture to use as a guide.

Of course, no matter what topic was being discussed or issue being brought up during the early weeks of 2019, the sentences from the speakers always ended with the same four words – “when the shutdown ends.” At times, it seemed as if the entire agricultural marketplace was collectively holding its breath, waiting for some certainty to return in the Beltway before kicking off the 2019 growing season.

Will the end of the government shutdown spur agricultural planning?

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Over the next few weeks, the winter trade show season will continue moving ahead full steam. A few of the important shows on the near-term docket include the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association Annual Meeting (Peoria, IL, January 29-30) and the National Farm Machinery Show (Louisville, KY, February 13-16). It will be very interesting to see if those involved in the agricultural market will finally begin to finalize their 2019 growing season plans during these events.

As always with as fluid a situation as this seems to be, stay tuned . . .

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