"According to USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS), national net farm income--a key indicator of U.S. farm well-being--is forecast at $54.8 billion in 2016, down 3% from last year. The 2016 forecast represents the third consecutive year of decline and would be the lowest since 2002 in both nominal and inflation-adjusted dollars. Net farm income is calculated on an accrual basis. Net cash income (calculated on a cash-flow basis) is also projected lower in 2016, down 2.5% to $90.9 billion. The forecast for lower net farm income and net cash income is the result of the outlook for lower crop and livestock receipts--down a combined 2.5% ($9.6 billion). The fall in cash receipts reflects continued declines in prices for most commodities compared with the period of 2011-2013, when prices for many major commodities experienced record or near-record highs. Partially offsetting the decline in farm revenues is a mild decline of about 3% in farm cash expenses. In addition, government payments are projected up by 31% to $13.9 billion. The 2014 farm bill (Agricultural Act of 2014; P.L. 113-79) eliminated direct payments of nearly $5 billion per year and replaced them with a new suite of revenue support programs. In particular, the new Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) programs are expected to trigger payments in excess of $9 billion in 2016."
CRS Report for Congress, R40152
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html