Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics, May 16, 2018,


Copyright 2018 University of Nebraska


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.