Agriculture News

November 19, 2019

Purdue’s Top Farmer Conference will focus on strategies for mitigating risk in 2020

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue Top Farmer Conference, a management program for farmers that features some of the nation’s top experts on marketing, risk management and crop production, will take place Jan. 10 at the Beck Agricultural Center, 4540 U.S. 52 West, West Lafayette, Indiana.

A pre-conference session focused entirely on risk management strategies will take place in the afternoon on Jan. 9. The conference is offered by Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture.

“Uncertain economic conditions plagued the 2019 agricultural economy leaving farmers with tough decisions ahead of next year’s planting season" said James Mintert, Purdue professor of agricultural economics and director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture. "The 2020 Top Farmer Conference was developed to address concerns producers and agribusiness professionals may face in the coming year and help them identify strategies to position their operations for future success."

This year’s half-day pre-conference is titled Ag Survivor, which provides farmers with hands-on experience developing strategies for managing risks in their operation. This pre-conference workshop, which has been used by thousands of farmers nationwide, will be conducted by a faculty team from the universities of Wyoming and Nebraska. The main conference includes sessions on long- and short-term agricultural outlook; recent trends and prospects for farmland markets across the Corn Belt; insights into the use of and impacts of using cover crops; and a comparison of the ARC and PLC programs as farmers prepare to make their Farm Bill decisions by mid-March.

Purdue professors Nathan DeLay, Nathan Thompson, and James Mintert will share survey data from crop farmers regarding their usage of digital ag technology on their farms. Purdue’s crop production specialists, Robert Nielsen and Shaun Casteel from Purdue agronomy and Bill Johnson from Purdue weed science, will discuss lessons from 2019 that can be applied to farmer’s 2020 production plans. The conference will conclude with a session featuring well known crop climatologist, Eric Snodgrass, from Nutrien Ag Solutions and the University of Illinois, on weather and climate impacts on crop production and managing weather risk in production agriculture.

Registration for the conference (Jan. 10 only) is $150 or $50 for the pre-conference (Jan. 9 only). For those wanting to attend both days, the center is offering a bundled discount of $175.

The conference is sponsored by Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture and Farm Credit Mid-America. For more information about the conference, contact Sarah Zahn at or 765-494-7004 or visit

About the Purdue University Center for Commercial Agriculture

The Center for Commercial Agriculture was founded in 2011 to provide professional development and educational programs for farmers. Housed within Purdue University's Department of Agricultural Economics, the center’s faculty and staff develop and execute research and educational programs that address the different needs of managing in today’s business environment. 

Writer: Kami Goodwin, 765-494-6999, 

Source: James Mintert, 765-494-4310, 

For more information contact:

Sarah Zahn, Purdue University, 765-494-7004,

Agricultural Communications: 765-494-8415;

Maureen Manier, Department Head,  

Agriculture News Page

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