U.S. Farm Income [February 28, 2014]   [open pdf - 510KB]

"According to USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS), national net farm income--a key indicator of U.S. farm well-being--is forecast at $95.8 billion in 2014, down 27% from last year's record $130.5 billion. The 2014 forecast would be the lowest since 2010, but would remain $8 billion above the previous 10-year average. The forecast for lower net farm income and net cash income is primarily a result of the outlook for lower crop receipts and government payments. In contrast, livestock returns are forecast to be steady to slightly higher. The 2014 farm bill […] eliminated direct payments of nearly $5 billion per year, while market prices for program crops--despite their plunge since late 2013--are expected to remain above trigger levels for price-contingent programs, thus keeping government program support at historically low levels in 2014. […]These data suggest a strong financial position heading into 2014 for the agricultural sector as a whole relative to the rest of the U.S. economy, but with substantial regional variation. Declining prices for most major program crops signal tougher times ahead. Eventual 2014 agricultural economic well-being will hinge greatly on the final crop harvests and harvest-time prices, as well as both domestic and international macroeconomic factors, including economic growth and consumer demand."

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CRS Report for Congress, R40152
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