Livestock Receipts Expected to fall 12.3% –Creating Financial Stress

Donnelle Eller reported on the front page of Friday’s Des Moines Register that, “It could be the agriculture equivalent of rolling snake eyes: Crop and livestock production in Iowa and the U.S. are both suffering financial losses simultaneously, a rarity.

“And those shortfalls are causing farm income to stumble yet again.

“Typically, low prices for corn and soybeans means reduced expenses and improved profits for hog, cattle, chicken and other livestock producers.

That’s not happening, and massive supplies are to blame, said Chad Hart, an Iowa State University agricultural economist.”

The Register article noted that, “U.S. farm income this year is projected to drop 17.2 percent over last year to $66.9 billion, a U.S. Department of Agriculture report this week shows.

“It would be the third consecutive year U.S. farm income has tumbled, dropping to levels not seen since 2009. The projected income would be about 46 percent lower than its peak in 2013.”

Ms. Eller pointed out that, “Livestock receipts, however, are expected to fall 12.3 percent to $166.4 billion, with cattle receipts falling nearly 15 percent.

“Stats like those are creating financial stress across Iowa, an agricultural powerhouse. The state leads the nation in pork, egg and corn production; is second in soybean production; and is fourth in beef production.”

The Register article added that, “Jim Plagge, CEO of Bank Iowa Corp., said cattle producers are getting hit the hardest.

“‘It’s not been a good year for cattle. It’s not been a good couple of years,’ Plagge said, adding that hog producers also have seen losses, but not as large as those in the cattle industry.

“‘There’s been pain in both livestock sectors,’ he said, adding that the egg industry also is suffering from low prices.”

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