Seed World

Wrapping Up 2021 with an Ag Economy Report

Continuing to be a regular speaker at the American Seed Trade Association’s CSS & Seed Expo, Economist Dan Basse joined the stage for his 10th year wrapping up the year with his agricultural economy report.

His major spotlights this year?

  • Inflation
  • Renewable fuels
  • China’s feed demands
  • Fertilizers

“There’s no shortage of things to talk about,” Basse said in his presentation during the ASTA CSS & Seed Expo general session. “The big problem is talking about all the things that would happen. Tumultuous and volatile are words that come up in my thinking about the world agricultural market, and the pandemic has really taken this into a higher gear.”

The agricultural trend changes have been dramatic, Basse notes. Ten years ago, agriculture was coming off having a major drought in the Midwest. But, due to the seed industry, trends are shifting.

“Because of seed improvement in technology, we had a record corn yield this year — when I think back about the growing season and the struggles we had with the dryness in the Dakotas, that’s amazing to me,” Basse says. “Technology continues to advance, and the demand globally is so much different that it is today.”

Yield continues to be a major driver.

“We always need more yield,” he says. “I’m concerned about per capita global grain yields, which over the last four years have really plateaued.”

This is in part due to climate change, Basse believes, due to more drought and flooding across the globe.

“That’s cut back on global grain yields. With that, we need more acres,” he says. “We believe in the next five years that some 23 to 25 million acres of additional farmland will be needed to come under plow.”

Make sure to check out the rest of Basse’s interview with Editorial Director Sonja Begemann on Seed World’s Facebook page.