Date of this Version
Cornhusker Economics, May 16, 2018, agecon.unl.edu/cornhuskereconomics
After several years of growing agricultural prosperity and United States net farm income that peaked at $124 billion in 2013, the most recent forecast from UDSA’s Economic Research Service projects net farm income at less than $60 billion for 2018. The drop of more than 50% since 2013 is primarily due to a decline in commodity prices, presenting significant challenges for agricultural producers. While the aggregate financial position of U.S. agriculture remains relatively strong with a debt-asset ratio of less than 13% (USDA-ERS, 2018), total debt has grown while profit margins have shrunk, putting more pressure on management decisions and putting more operations at financial risk.