Farm income poised to be highest in 40 years

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The USDA forecast net farm income to be $120.6 billion 2013, up 6 percent from 2012’s estimate and the second highest since 1973 after adjusting for inflation, according to its “Farm Sector & Household Income Forecast” report released on Tuesday.

“Net cash income—which measures the difference between cash expenses and the combination of commodities sold during the calendar year plus other sources of farm income—is forecast at $120.8 billion, down just over 10 percent from 2012. Even so, 2013’s forecast would be the fourth time net cash income, after adjusting for inflation, has exceeded $100 billion since 1973,” the USDA reported.

Cash receipts are expected to fall 5.5 percent on the year for crops but rise 4.9 percent for livestock. Dairy is forecast to climb by $2.8 billion from 2012, a 7.5 percent increase.

"Milk receipts in 2013 are forecast to exceed the previous high set in 2011. The annual price of milk is expected to increase over $1 per cwt (6 percent) from 2012; at $19.70 per cwt, it would be second highest on record. Milk production is expected to be about 1 percent above 2012 and 3 percent above 2011. U.S. milk exports are expected to increase 17 percent in 2013," the USDA said.

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Dairy products added $31.37 billion to the country’s economy last year, with California dairy products making up 21.9 percent of it. However, while California’s dairy products added $6.9 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012, this is down 10 percent from the $7.68 billion reported in 2011.  

Other dairy states, including Wisconsin and Idaho, also reported a drop in the value of its dairy production. See the document map here.

The USDA also projected median total farm household income at $66,989, down 2.4 percent from last year.

Click here for more from the USDA.



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