Due to lower prices for corn and soybeans and less money coming from Uncle Sam, a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts a gloomy financial year ahead for farmers. It shows farm income will fall in 2014 as much as 27-percent when compared to last year.
U.S.D.A. chief economist Joe Glauber says net cash income for farmers is expected to plummet. Glauber says, “Crop receipts for 2014, we’re projecting those at about $189-billion, that’s down almost 27-billion from 2013, the lowest level since 2010.” For Iowa farmers, if the forecast is correct, it would be the third straight year of declining farm incomes, following lower grain prices last year and the drought in 2012.
Glauber says there are a few positive elements in the new forecast, mainly for livestock producers. “Livestock receipts are up, marginally,” he says. “They’re up at $183.4-billion. It’s the first time in a long while we’ve seen livestock and crop receipts around the same magnitude. Expenses are actually down. We’re forecasting those at $310-billion. That’s down almost 5-billion from last year and that’s largely lower feed costs.”
He says part of the reason for the drop in overall farm income is due to changes in the Farm Bill. Farmers won’t receive direct payments any more, while safety net payment guidelines in the new Farm Bill won’t be made, if needed, until 2015.