Mitchell Morehart, an economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, says lower commodity prices, current land values and production expenses make the most recent forecast more bleak than government estimates from last spring.
Morehart says, “We see declines being widespread, in other words, there is not a region of the country where incomes are going to go up in 2015 in our current forecast.” Lower prices for several key commodities, including hogs, will particularly impact Midwestern farms and, of course, Iowa is the nation’s leader in hog production.
“Because of the importance of hogs to that region, the declines will be slightly larger than they would be in some other parts of the country,” Morehart says. Hog prices have dropped significantly after record highs last year, while corn, wheat and soybean prices are also down.
(Thanks to Amy Mayer, Iowa Public Radio)