Where the Farm Income Boom Happened (and Didn’t)

ag trends. agricultural economic insights

by David A. Widmar

We have frequently written about the expansion and subsequent contraction of the U.S. farm income. While most of our previous work has focused on sector-level trends across the U.S. farm economy, we have anecdotally noted these trends likely vary at the local, state, and regional levels. Thinking about these variations, we previously looked at how changes in farmland values have varied across the country. To provide more insight on the variations in the farm economy, this week’s post considers state-level changes in net farm income during the boom and contraction. Continue reading

Farm Income Set to Fall Yet Again

Harvest Small

by Brent Gloy

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

Farm Financial Conditions: Is it the 80’s All Over Again?

Ag Economic Insights

By David Widmar and Brent Gloy

One of the most common questions we have been hearing on our speaking trips goes something like this:  “So is this just a replay of the 1970’s farm boom and subsequent bust in the 1980’s?”   While nobody can say for sure, we feel fairly confident in saying that while today’s farm financial conditions clearly have some similarities to the 1980’s it is also quite different in many respects.  That does not mean that this downturn won’t end poorly, just that several of the drivers and factors that led to the previous boom and bust are quite different than those at play today. Continue reading