Hart on Iowa's decline in GDP

April 4, 2022

Chad HartChad Hart, professor, was interviewed for an April 1 Business Record story, "Iowa’s GDP down 2.3% in Q4 as ag sector stumbles behind increased input costs."

Chad Hart, an agricultural economist at Iowa State University, said he believes the large decrease in the agricultural sector is a response to projected lower farm net income as a result of increases in expenses, such as seed and fertilizer.

Most of the effect of increased commodity prices was likely felt in the second and third quarters of 2021, while the brunt of increased input costs likely began to be felt by farmers in the fourth quarter, he said.

“Crop and livestock receipts are projected to rise this year, but that gain is less than the combination of ag government support and the gain in ag production expenses,” Hart said.

Hart was interviewed for an April 2 NPR story, "These companies say their carbon pipelines would curb climate change. Farmers object."

Chad Hart is an agricultural economist at Iowa State University and says the carbon would go deep underground in North Dakota or southern Illinois.

"Where there are deep mines that have open voids that can be filled with carbon dioxide as a way to reduce the amount of carbon being released into the atmosphere and sequester more of it underground," Hart says.

Hart says as American ethanol consumption levels off the industry wants to develop a carbon market especially with federal incentives to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

"COVID was a big shock to the system, not only for the ethanol industry, but the liquid fuel markets as a whole," Hart says, so the ethanol industry is "looking for what are these co-product opportunities that possibly create more stability in the financial return to an ethanol plant."

Also for an April 4 Farm Progress story, "Should CRP acres be utilized in wake of Ukrainian War?"

“We don’t want to unilaterally take action that would imply that CRP is a glorified set aside program,” Hart warns. “What are the rules within CRP that would allow us to help create some additional land that could be put into play this year.”

In an April 6 Illinois Farmer Today story, "Wheat acreage may continue upswing in 2022."

“For Illinois and Missouri, there will be a lot more pressure to look at double-cropping, especially looking at Russia-Ukraine and wheat prices,” Hart said. “In southern Illinois and southern Missouri we’ve seen a lot of double-crops in the past. We could see a strong push to reinforce that in 2022.”


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