Cornhusker Economics: Introducing the Center for Ag Profitability

Cornhusker Economics: Introducing the Center for Ag Profitability
Director, Center for Agricultural Profitability
Panoramic view of farmland on sunny day.

Lance Cheung/USDA (Flickr/Public Domain)

The full article is available in the June 30, 2021 edition of Cornhusker Economics, published by the Department of Agricultural Economics.

Agriculture, and the processing of its products, comprises approximately 25% of Nebraska’s economy, with 1 in 4 jobs in Nebraska related to agriculture (Thompson et al., 2020). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, cash receipts from marketing of farm products contributed over $21 billion to Nebraska’s economy in 2019. The natural resource base in Nebraska, comprised of productive soils, rangeland, ground and surface water, and the infrastructure to procure inputs and market farm products, provides a solid foundation for a strong agricultural industry into the foreseeable future.

The agricultural operating environment, though, has changed dramatically over the past 25 years and will continue to evolve in the next 25 years. Farms have increased in scale to capture the economies of size. There also has been restructuring in the agricultural input, marketing, and processing sectors. Price volatility for agricultural commodities has increased dramatically over the past decade, substantially increasing the need for price and production risk management. As these trends continue, the impacts of each economic decision at the farm production level become more pronounced.

The complex problems faced by agriculture today cannot be solved by isolated disciplines. A holistic, systems approach is needed to address the profitability of agriculture. To assist with these needs, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has approved the development of the Center for Agricultural Profitability (CAP) within the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

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