The worm has turned. It may be a slow crawl for some time yet, says Texas AgriLife Extension economist Charlie Hall, but the news is not all bad at the moment and recovery from recession seems to be in progress.

Hall offered an assessment of the U.S. economy and the potential for agriculture during the annual Texas Plant Protection Association conference in College Station. He says all segments of the U.S. and the world economies may not show signs of robust recovery yet, but some elements that are still struggling seem to be “getting less bad.” Unemployment, for instance, remains at 10.2% to 10.8% and is focused primarily in the center of the country.

“Many sectors are either stabilizing or getting worse at a slower rate,” Hall said. In agriculture, producers who “differentiated” themselves by producing higher quality, adding value, or finding niche markets have done better.

“Ag recovery will be slow compared to historical norms. Farmers must grow, but grow smarter. They must be prepared for new risks and new opportunities with the coming recovery.”

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