Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, the USDA’s Economic Research Service projects that U.S. 2009 farm incomes will decline compared with last year. The ERS report notes that crop and livestock prices have declined this year in response to economic conditions and soft demand. Prices for agricultural inputs such as fuel and feed also have declined after rising to historically high levels last year. But, the report says, those declines have not been enough to offset the lower prices for agricultural commodities.

ERS forecasts total net farm income at $54.0 billion in 2009, down $33.2 billion (38 percent) from the preliminary estimate of $87.2 billion for 2008. The 2009 forecast is $9 billion below the 10-year average of $63.2 billion in net farm income.

For 2009, the report projects average family farm household income at $75,895, down 5.2 percent from 2008, and 8.0 percent below the five-year average for 2004-08. In 2009, the average family farm is forecast to receive 7.6 percent of its household income from farm sources, with the rest from earned and unearned off-farm income.

The full report is available from USDA/ERS.

Source: Drovers