Higher grain and soybean prices will increase U.S. net farm income modestly this year, said a University of Missouri think tank on Monday. The Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute projected a $5.5 billion increase in net farm income, a broad measure of profits, compared to 2018, in line with a USDA estimate of a $6.3 billion increase.
A year after making soybeans the most widely grown crop in the country, U.S. farmers will make corn king again, driven by trade war with China and a burdensome soy stockpile, said the FAPRI think tank at the University of Missouri. "China's tariffs will reduce U.S. soybean exports," said FAPRI. The research group expects farmers will slash soybean plantings by 5.5 percent in 2019 in the face of the lowest market price in 12 years.
U.S. farm income has been in a rut since the collapse of the commodity boom in 2013, and it is likely to grow only slowly after a bump upward in 2019, estimated a University of Missouri think tank.
A University of Missouri think tank says the season-average price for this year's soybean crop, forecast at a record 4.381 billion bushels, will fall to $9.07 a bushel. The 43-cent a bushel drop from the average price paid for the 2016 crop will encourage growers to plant somewhat fewer acres of soybeans and more acres of corn in 2018, says the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute.
After suffering a 31-percent drop in net cash income in three years, the U.S. farm sector will see stable to modestly rising income in coming years, while farmland values will fall 11 percent before leveling off at the end of this decade, says the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute. The University of Missouri think tank says farm debt will rise, as will indicators of financial stress, such as the debt-to-asset ratio.
Corn farmers are within reach of the largest U.S. crop ever grown, topping the 2014 record by more than 200 million bushels, USDA said in its first projections of the fall harvest.
There is almost no risk that the United States will exceed WTO limits on agricultural subsidies with the 2014 farm law, but the picture could be far different if Doha Round proposals are adopted, according to three senior economists.
Farm-gate prices for corn, soybeans and wheat, the three most widely planted crops in the country, "have declined sharply from record levels set in recent years and no quick price recovery is expected," says the University of Missouri think tank FAPRI in an update of its agricultural baseline.
Told to choose between traditional subsidies and a new-era revenue subsidy, corn and soybean farmers overwhelming opted for the revenue plan, the government announced. Growers were expected to choose the Agriculture Risk Coverage plan, analysts said, because it will provide larger payments than traditional subsidies triggered by low prices over the life of the 2014 farm law.