Fiscal clouds as farm groups ask for more federal support
The two largest U.S. farm groups stuck to requests for expensive changes in the farm safety net — higher crop subsidy rates and broader access to subsidized insurance — in the face of a warning on Tuesday that the money might not be available. Senate Agriculture Committee chair Debbie Stabenow pointed to proposals that would tie an increase in the federal debt limit to steep cuts in spending.
Farmers face sharply higher interest rates on loans
The financial outlook for many farmers is favorable, thanks to high commodity prices, but higher interest rates are an ongoing concern, according to ag bankers surveyed by the Federal Reserve. Interest rates on loans to farmers were 3.5 to 4.5 percentage points higher in the opening months of this year than they were at the end of 2021.
Farm finances are strong, but rise in land values slows
High commodity prices supported "profit opportunities for many producers across the farm sector" ahead of the spring planting season, although there were concerns about operating expenses, higher interest rates and drought, said the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank.
Farm safety net cushions big operators the most — analysts
Due to consolidation, federal farm supports increasingly are paid to the wealthiest producers, who have household incomes far above the rest of the country, said analysts at a think tank seminar on Monday. The stream of money to large operators was a stark contrast to frequent depictions of the farm program as the safeguard of small family farmers, they said.
After a 2022 record, U.S. farm income retreats to third-highest ever
U.S. agriculture is headed for the third year in a row of far-above-average income, estimated the Agriculture Department on Tuesday. Lower market prices for corn, soybeans, cotton, hogs, broiler chickens and eggs will combine with rising expenses to pull down net farm income by nearly $26 …
Premium subsidies for crop insurance near $12 billion a year
In a decade, government outlays to subsidize crop insurance increased 60 percent, expanding in step with the rapid growth in acreage covered by the policies, according to Risk Management Agency data released Sunday.
Play it again: High and volatile commodity prices in the year ahead
Economic growth and inflation will slow in the coming months, but commodity prices are likely to be volatile as the world’s farmers try to catch up with the global appetite for food, said two leading agricultural economists on Wednesday. “I think that 2023 still looks pretty strong” for U.S. farm income, said Nathan Kaufman, the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank’s principal expert on agriculture economics.
Farm income jumps 14 percent to record high
High commodity prices, due in part to warfare in Ukraine, will propel U.S. net farm income to a record $160.5 billion this year, despite a steep climb in expenses, said the Agriculture Department on Thursday. Farm income, a gauge of profitability, would be 14 percent higher than last year.
Farmland values gallop higher despite interest rate increases
Strong commodity prices are creating opportunities for U.S. farmers to profit despite the risks posed by drought and higher production costs, said the Ag Finance Update by the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. Farmland prices surged an average of 20 percent in the Farm Belt during the summer as buyers shrugged off sharply higher interest rates.
Interest rates are the top policy concern among farmers
Congress is on the cusp of overhauling the farm program but the top question among farmers about government action is interest rate policy, which lies outside the jurisdiction of the Senate and House Agriculture committees, said a Purdue University poll on Tuesday. Concern about interest rates coincided with the Federal Reserve campaign to squelch inflation through regular increases in interest rates.
Increasingly, ‘farm’ and ‘rural’ are not synonymous
More and more of America's farmers rely on off-farm income at the same time that agriculture accounts for a smaller share of rural employment nationwide, said a University of Missouri study on Monday. The analysis, commissioned by agricultural lender CoBank, said the majority of principal farm operators worked off the farm and off-farm income accounted for 82 percent of farm household income.
USDA projects farm income to rise around 5 percent in 2022
The USDA said Thursday it expects farm income for 2022 to rise 5.2 percent, to $147.7 billion, from a year earlier, with cash receipts for agricultural commodities at a record level. But higher production expenses and lower government Covid-19 payments are presenting some headwinds.
Rising input costs cloud the sunny outlook for farm income
High commodity prices are the fueling a strong farm economy in the Midwest and Plains this summer, but agricultural lenders worry that higher prices for seeds, fertilizer, fuel and other inputs will put the brakes on farm income in the near term. "Lenders reported growing concerns about 2023," said the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, one of four regional Feds to survey bankers every three months about farm finances.
Farmland values soar more than 20 percent in Midwest and Plains
Strong agricultural income and favorable interest rates are fueling a nonstop climb in farmland values in the Plains and Midwest, said farm bankers in quarterly surveys by the Kansas City and Chicago Federal Reserve banks. The Chicago Fed said farmland values in the opening months of this year were 23 percent higher than in the first quarter of 2021; the increase was 24 percent for non-irrigated land in the Plains.
Farm income is forecast far above average for second year
Record-high expenses and sharply lower federal subsidies will erode farm income in 2022, according to a forecast by the Agriculture Department. Nonetheless, U.S. agriculture would see one of its best years on record, with net farm income 26 percent above its 10-year average.
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.
Highest U.S. farm income in eight years, but headwinds in 2022
Despite the disruptions of the pandemic, U.S. farm income, a broad measure of profits, will be the highest since 2013, thanks to strong corn, soybean, wheat, broiler, cattle, and hog prices this year, said the USDA on Wednesday. "It is primarily a price story," said USDA economist Carrie Litkowski.
Pandemic payments to farmers top $30 billion
Farmers and ranchers have received nearly $30.6 billion in coronavirus relief payments in the past 17 months, according to USDA data released on Monday. Pandemic assistance is a major element in farm income this year, as it was in 2020, and is projected to equal one-fourth of net farm income.