After what's been called the worst recession since the 1980s, Purdue University agricultural economist Larry DeBoer said the economy is now in a period of recovery.

"When Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, or any economist says the recession is over, we mean the economy is not declining any more," DeBoer says. "Think of it in terms of digging yourself into a hole. When you stop digging deeper it's a significant change."

Another significant change is to climb back out of the hole. DeBoer said the economy likely will stay in the hole for a little while, however.

"The recovery is going to take quite some time to bring us back to where we really want to be," DeBoer says. "We should probably expect a slow decline in the unemployment rate and probably slow growth rates of gross domestic product (GDP)." GDP is a basic measure of the country's overall economic output.

DeBoer adds that the recovery does have implications for American agriculture, which would likely be most affected by interest rates, farmland assessments and oil prices.

With a 10 percent unemployment rate and little threat of inflation, DeBoer says it's unlikely the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates soon. However, farmland assessments are likely to increase in the near future, because the formula to assess farmland value takes into account commodity prices with a four-year lag.

"Farmland assessments are going to go up over the next several years, because the high commodity prices from 2007-08 will enter the assessment formula," DeBoer notes. "I think farmers can count on property tax increases over the next several years."

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Source: Purdue University