This week, the Department of Agriculture changed its forecast for 2016 net cash farm income to $94.1 billion, up from its initial projection of $90.9 billion in February. While USDA increased the estimate, net cash farm income remains 13.3 percent lower compared to 2015. The net farm income forecast for 2016 in February was revised up to $71.5 billion from $54.8 billion, but still down 11.5 percent from last year. For the second year in a row, USDA noted production expenses were down in 2016. Net farm income for 2015 was revised up significantly to $80.7 billion, an increase of 43 percent from the numbers released in February.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the forecast highlights the ability of farmers to plan ahead and make sharp business decisions in a challenging market, “The estimates also showed that debt to asset and debt to equity ratios-two key indicators of the farm economy’s health-continue to be near all-time lows. In addition to strong balance sheets, median household income for farming families remains near historic highs. In 2016, higher off-farm earnings are expected to help stabilize losses due to low commodity prices.”
Full Forecast: www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-economy/farm-sector-income-finances/highlights-from-the-farm-income-forecast.aspx
Source: NAFB News Service