Cornhusker Economics

Cornhusker Economics

North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center

After peaking over $123 billion in 2013, U.S. net farm income fell to $68 billion in 2016 with projections of $62 billion for 2017, a nearly 50% drop (USDA Economic Research Service). The large drop from 2013 to 2017 after nearly a decade of strong growth in agricultural income presents a substantial challenge to agricultural producers and an increased need to manage risk on the farm or ranch carefully. The drop has been buffered in part by the underlying financial strength of the agricultural sector with strong balance sheets and farmland values. However, the last four straight years of declining farm income, increased borrowing, and softening farmland values have stressed some producers and will put pressure on other producers to hone their production and risk management decisions.
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