While the uncertainty on Wall Street directly affects the financial sector, a Purdue Extension agricultural economist says it's the indirect consequences coupled with weather concerns that has the agriculture industry on edge.

Agriculture, with the exception of livestock, has been more resistant to recession, said Mike Boehlje. Much of the demand for U.S. grain comes from the mandated use of ethanol and in exports, which have recovered more quickly in recent years than has domestic demand.

"The Chinese economy is growing, and that has increased demand for U.S. grains, especially soybeans," he said. "We've also had short supply problems with grains.

"Going forward, the key concerns for agriculture are less in the capital markets and more in what the U.S. debt problems might do to put us in a recession. The Chinese economy also is important because should it take a hit, export demand would decrease."

Should the United States end up in a "double-dip" recession, Boehlje said, livestock producers could potentially face higher feed costs, reduced domestic demand and lower export demand.

"A situation like that certainly has the potential to take the profitability out of livestock production," he said.