farm economy

Rapid increase in farmland values in central Plains

Fueled by strong farm income and low interest rates, farmland values soared more than 20 percent in the central Plains during 2021, according to a quarterly survey of ag bankers by the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. A majority of the lenders said they expected values to increase this year, but an equally large number "also indicated that farmland values were currently over-valued, suggesting there may still be future risks of declines," said the regional Fed.

Sharp decline in farm income likely this year

After reaching an eight-year high thanks to massive pandemic payments in 2021, net farm income — USDA's gauge of profitability — is expected to fall precipitously this year. The USDA will make its first forecast of farm income on Friday.

Farmers feel less need to borrow money from the bank

The strong agricultural economy, fueled by high commodity prices, has reduced farmers' reliance on farm lenders, despite concerns about rising input costs, according to a Federal Reserve survey of ag bankers. "Higher costs are likely to put upward pressure on demand for credit, but strong farm income and working capital could also supplement financing for some borrowers," said the Kansas City Fed on Thursday.

Farmers, hit by supply chain delays, expect higher input costs

Supply-chain disruptions "haunt the nation's agricultural sector," with four of every 10 large-scale farmers and ranchers reporting difficulties in buying inputs ranging from fertilizer to farm equipment parts, according to a Purdue University survey released on Tuesday.  Operators also increasingly expect to pay dearly for the goods.

USDA: Strong U.S. economy but falling crop prices in 2022

The red-hot U.S. recovery from the pandemic, with the fastest economic growth rate since 1984, will moderate to a still-strong 3.5 percent in 2022, said the USDA in its first look at the agricultural economy in the new year. Farm-gate prices for corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton, the four most widely planted crops, were projected to decline as production, suppressed by the pandemic, catches up with demand.

Highest farm income in eight years, but one-third comes from government

Higher prices for corn, soybeans, hogs, cattle, and broiler chickens — top U.S. ag products — will boost net farm income to $113 billion this year, the highest since 2013, estimated the Agriculture Department on Thursday. Income would be 26 percent higher than the 10-year average, reflecting the economy-wide recovery from the pandemic.

High prices, strong demand mean back-to-back records for U.S. ag exports

Propelled by the global economic recovery from the pandemic, U.S. farm exports will set back-to-back sales records this fiscal year and in the new year beginning on Oct. 1, the government forecast on Thursday. China would account for $1 of every $5 in exports during the two-year span, with annual purchases running more than $10 billion above its previous record, set in 2014.

Heartland embraces precision agriculture practices

Half of the farmers in the biggest corn, soybean, and wheat states employ precision agriculture in their operations — from GPS guidance of tractors and combines to deploying drones to scout fields or monitor livestock — twice the national average, said a USDA report on computer usage on Wednesday. Far more farms have a cellular internet connection than broadband; 18 percent have no internet access at all.

Farmland values soar despite pandemic

Fueled by strong commodity prices and continued pandemic assistance, farmland values are skyrocketing, up by 14 percent in the central Midwest and by 10 percent in the central Plains, said the Federal Reserve banks in Chicago and Kansas City on Thursday.

Euphoria fades as farmers fret over inflation, rising costs

America’s large-scale farmers and ranchers expect rampant inflation and sharply higher costs in the year ahead, said a Purdue University poll on Tuesday. The monthly Ag Economy Barometer said farmer confidence was at its lowest level in a year despite high commodity prices and large federal …

ERS: Nearly $58 billion to farmers in pandemic year

When crop insurance indemnities and unemployment benefits are counted, the government sent $57.7 billion to farm operations and farm households in 2020, while the pandemic sent the U.S. economy into recession, said a working paper by USDA economists. It was the highest estimate yet of federal assistance to farmers last year and the most inclusive.

Flush times for farmers, buoyed by strong markets and pandemic aid

Farmers in the Midwest and Plains are reaping a cash bonanza that has dramatically improved their finances a year after the pandemic pummeled commodity markets and prompted a record $46 billion in federal payments to agriculture, said three regional Federal Reserve banks on Thursday. (No paywall)

Operating loans drive decline in ag lending

With federal pandemic aid in their hands, farmers and ranchers borrowed far less money than usual from ag bankers during the opening months of this year for equipment, livestock, and operating expenses, according to a Federal Reserve survey of commercial lenders.

After Covid’s chill, a hot recovery is at hand

The U.S. economy could grow at its fastest rate — 7 percent — in nearly four decades, with the farm sector sharing in the energetic recovery from the pandemic, said CoBank on Thursday. "Many in the agricultural industry are experiencing the best market conditions since 2013," said the lender in a quarterly assessment of the sector.

Large ag exports to China create risk for U.S., says FCA chief

U.S. agriculture is running the risk of becoming overly reliant on large exports to China just over a year after Washington and Beijing de-escalated their trade war, said the head of the Farm Credit Administration on Wednesday.

Farm income improves significantly, say ag bankers

Heartened by sharp increases in commodity prices, farmers and ranchers across the Midwest and Plains are paying off bank loans and opening their wallets for big-ticket purchases, said a report from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday.

Strongest farm outlook in years, say ag bankers

Farm income and land values surged in the closing months of 2020, lifted by higher commodity prices and large federal payments, according to farm lenders across the Midwest and Plains. With the commodity rally expected to persist, the farm economy was in its best shape in years, said the …

Financial breather for 10 percent of USDA borrowers

The Biden administration on Wednesday announced a temporary suspension of past-due debt collections and foreclosures of farmers who borrowed money from the USDA and are in financial distress.

Fruit and vegetable growers face coronavirus squeeze

With Americans spending more of their food dollars at the supermarket, the specialty crop sector will continue to adapt to the pandemic and the loss of food-service sales in the new year, said agricultural lender CoBank. "Steep financial losses from the loss of food service contracts will ultimately result in the rationalization of some processing assets and production acreage."

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