Signs of Stability in Latest USDA Farm Income Forecast

Barbara Soderlin reported yesterday at the Omaha World-Herald Online that, “U.S. farm profits will increase slightly this year after three consecutive years of decline, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reaffirmed Wednesday in a forecast that accounts for production from the recent harvest season.

“The turnaround is the latest sign of some stability in a sector that’s been on a roller coaster this decade, as drought and growing demand first sent crop prices soaring, then oversupply sent them tumbling back down again.

“Net farm income hit a record $129 billion in 2013, but this year will be less than half that, forecast at $63.2 billion, a slight downward revision from the USDA’s August forecast. The projection is up about 3 percent over 2016’s farm profits, but still lower than all other years since 2009, the Ag Department said.”

The World-Herald article added that, “Farmers and their families still have to rely on other jobs to support their households. Median income from farming is expected to be a negative $1,093, with more than half of farm households losing money by farming. Off-farm income, though, will increase by 2 percent to nearly $68,000.”

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