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Dr. Stephen Koontz, Colorado State University, talks about the economics of the fed cattle markets and the issues with thinning cash trade. Dr. Koontz's key take aways: "Free markets are not free": markets require and consume resources and are expensive.

Dr. Koontz suggested that producers need to make market function & survival the result of an industry-level decision & not something that "just happens".

Dr. Lee Schultz, Iowa State University, talks about the importance of the international beef markets and the growth opportunities that can happen. There are elements of trust that needs to be nurtured over time to help grow the beef markets. Dr. Schultz highlights various metrics of Iowa beef and how they can be the information to help drive international beef growth.

Beef Demand: Clarifying Concepts, Summarizing Status, and Discussing Future Opportunities - Dr. Lee Schultz, Iowa State University, from the 2014 Iowa Cattle Industry Convention, December 8 - 10, 2014, Des Moines IA, USA

Brett Stuart, Global AgriTrend, discovers and organizes global protein data and pulls back the conversation to what it means to US protein producers. Mr. Stuart shares a map that highlights that more people live inside the mapped circle than outside (most of China & India are shown) and they are where the markets opportunities are happening.

Mr. Stuart provides deep data on the markets and how they impact global economics. His key message: rising incomes will continue shift diets; China will need more corn, pork, oilseeds, and dairy.

Grains and Livestock Economic Outlook - Dr. Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, from the 2013 World Pork Expo, June 5 - 7, 2013, Des Moines, IA, USA.

Dr. Steve Meyer, Paragon Economics, says key issues in coming months will be input and production costs; demand; output levels for 2013 and 2014; and prices and margins.

He reminded people that in 2012 he said if it rains we have $4 corn and if it doesn't we have $8 corn - and that everyone heard the first part and nobody heard the second part. In summary Dr. Meyer says that corn belt rains have been good, now we need some warm dry days.


agriculture economics 101 Markets exist to help smooth the flow of information and make the future more predictable. Or so say some of the theories. But it takes a Ph.D. sometimes to figure out what is going on when corn goes above $8 and you are sitting on several thousand bushels. Do you sell? Or do you wait?