The recent projections of farm income released by USDA’s Economic Research Service in their 2017 Farm Sector Income Forecast suggest that while farm income may have hit rock bottom in 2016, there will be an uptick in both net farm and net cash income in 2017. American Farm Bureau Federation Chief Economist Dr. Bob Young said livestock sales are driving the slight increase.
“It is just a kind of a minor bump, but it’s a bump rather than to continue into a fall. The livestock side really drove a lot of that increase. Crop receipts are relatively flat, 2017 compared to 2016.”
Forecasts for both livestock and crop cash receipts are promising. Livestock cash receipts will increase by 4.8% and crop cash receipts will increase by 1.6% in 2017. With an increase predicted though, Young cautions that the year’s overall farm income is hard to predict.
“Give me a weather forecast, and I’ll give you a farm income forecast in this stage of the game. We’ve had some of the strongest demand we’ve ever had, but we also have some of the strongest production we’ve ever had. So, it will probably take a little bit of a production pullback in order for prices to really pop, but really it won’t take much of a production pullback to make that happen.”
Given recent projections, Young said the farm economy will likely hold here for a while, so he encourages all producers to establish a business plan, and stick to it.
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