Believe it or not, net farm income predicted to rise

The Department of Agriculture predicts farm income will rise in 2019, despite challenges impacting the farm economy. Last week, USDA reported inflation-adjusted U.S. net cash farm income is set to increase $5.8 billion, up 5.4 percent, to $112.6 billion.

U.S. net farm income, a broader measure of farm sector profitability that incorporates noncash items including changes in inventories, economic depreciation, and gross rental income, is forecast to increase $2.5 billion, or 2.9 percent, from 2018 to $88.0 billion in 2019. USDA says the forecast increases are due to a combination of lower production expenses, which are subtracted out in the calculation of net income, as well as increases in government payments and farm-related income.

The trade aid payments are expected to more than offset the forecast decline in cash receipts. If the forecast holds true, USDA says net farm income would be 2.3 percent below the 2000–2018 average, but net cash farm income would be four percent above its 2000–2018 average.

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