Will Farm Income Fall in 2016?


By Brent Gloy

U.S. farm income has fallen sharply in the last two years. One of the key questions facing agriculture is whether farm income will decline for a third straight year.  Below we offer our perspective on this question.  Continue reading

Government Payments to the Rescue?

Gov't Payments

By Brent Gloy and David Widmar

As we discussed last week, U.S. farm income has declined dramatically over the last two years. The magnitude of the drop has been substantial. In real (2009) dollars, the fall from 2013 to 2014 and 2014 to 2015 are the largest absolute declines since 1979 to 1980.   In percentage terms, the 2014 to 2015 decline is the largest since 1982-1983.

We thought it would be worthwhile to examine the decline in further detail. As we mentioned last week, persistently high and increasing expenses have played a key role in the decline. We will look at how expenses have changed throughout previous downturns in a later post. For this week’s post we wanted to look at something that hasn’t gone up in this downturn, direct government program payments. Continue reading

2015 Net Farm Income Estimate Turn More Pessimistic


by David Widmar and Brent Gloy

Last week the USDA’s updated estimate of U.S. net farm income in 2015 was ratcheted lower. Earlier this spring, estimates were that net farm income would be substantially lower than the recent highs, but returning to levels near the long-run average (as we pointed out here). The latest estimate, however, casts a more pessimistic outlook for 2015 and the subject of this week’s post. Continue reading