Farm profits to fall second consecutive year

In a statement, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack urged Americans to continue to support its agricultural history, and not to lose heart.


The USDA projected farm incomes this year will drop by 36 percent from 2014 to $58.3 billion due to declining crop and livestock prices. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday, August 26, 2015 that it will be a less profitable year for farmers as low grain, milk and hog prices cut farm income.

Median farm income levels remain negative for farm households, while off-farm income is expected to rise from $70,000 in 2014 to $72,494 in 2015.

U.S. farm income is forecast to decline 36 percent in 2015, worse than originally projected-and representing the lowest farm income since 2006, according to the government. But ask any successful farmer who takes his marketing seriously, and he’ll say he learns a lot more about managing his business and marketing his crop efficiently and profitably when commodity prices are low.

“We see declines being widespread”, Morehart said. But that’s actually a slight improvement from the February outlook, which had net cash income projected at $89.4 billion, or down 22 percent. Numbers by USDA show cash receipts from crops are down 6.2 percent while cash receipts for livestock are down 9.1 percent in 2015.

Despite the challenges, farmers and ranchers will see one bright spot: The USDA said total expenses should drop 0.4 percent from previous year – the first decline since 2009 – to $388.3 billion mostly because of lower energy and feed costs. Since hitting a record high in 2012, corn receipts have fallen 35%. Still, U.S. broiler prices and cash receipts are expected to fall as HPAI-related export bans increase U.S. inventories and lead prices lower. Net cash income is forecast at $100.3 billion, down about 21% from 2014 levels. If the forecast holds true, 2015 will mark the second straight year of decline.


Farm asset values are forecast to decline by 3.5 percent compared to 2014, and farm debt is forecast to increase by 5.8 percent. Fuel and oil costs likely will decline by nearly 28%, according to the USDA, while expenses related to the three main crop inputs-seeds, fertilizer and pesticides-also will decrease. That’s down from last year’s $91.1 billion and the lowest in nine years.

USDA Says Net Farm Income Will be Less Than Half 2013 Figures