The USDA recently released the latest estimates of sector-level net farm income. These data provide an overall measure of the economic and financial conditions of the agricultural sector. The latest forecast revealed a much higher forecast of net farm income than previously estimated. Those who regularly monitor these data – as Brent and I do – were surprised by the large, upward adjustment to sector income. This week we take a look at the latest data, the adjustments, and the implications moving forward. Continue reading →
Last week I thought that it would be a good time to look at farm sector financial conditions, particularly some ratios of repayment capacity. My timing could have been a little better because only a couple days after I wrote the post, USDA made an update to its farm sector income forecast. Usually you can count on these updates to be relatively minor. Not this time.
One of our top questions heading into 2016 was whether 2016 would be the year when farm income stopped falling. At the start of the year we weren’t particularly optimistic for a rebound, in large part because livestock prices had fallen considerably from early 2015 levels. In February, the Economic Research Service released their forecast of farm income which projected yet another decline. In this post we will look at the forecast, some of its components, and examine the implications another year of declining farm incomes. Continue reading →