Secretary Vilsack calls the report "heartening" due to recent record incomes and rural economy's resilience.
The U.S. farm sector continues to face a tough '15.
Net farm income is forecast to fall 36% to $58.3 billion this year, according to numbers released Tuesday by USDA. (As recently as 2013, net farm income reached $123.7 billion.)
Cash receipts from crops (an estimated $195 billion in 2015) and livestock (an estimated $192.8 billion) are both down, by 6.2% and 9.1%, respectively.
Given low prices for farm products, it’s not surprising to see that government payments are expected to rise in 2015: $11.4 billion, an increase of 16.3% compared to last year.
Expenses, meanwhile, have remained frustratingly steady, slipping less than one-half of 1% since last year to $338.8 billion.
In a statement released late Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack attempted to highlight the positive aspects of the challenging report.
"Today's farm income forecast is heartening for all Americans," he said. "The past several years have seen unprecedented highs in farm income, and despite the fact that farm income is forecast to be down from record levels, today's projections provide a snapshot of a rural America that continues to remain stable and resilient in the face of the worst animal disease outbreak in our nation's history and while the western United States remains gripped by drought. Thanks to its ability to be competitive through thick and thin, American agriculture remains fundamentally sound, supporting and creating good-paying American jobs for millions."
Where do you expect to trim costs during the rest of 2015 and in 2016? What expenses have proven stubbornly high? Let us know in the comments or visit AgWeb's discussion boards.