Farm incomes plunge $29.4 billion in 2009

Farm incomes are way down in 2009.
Farm incomes are way down in 2009.
U.S. farmers are experiencing massive drops in income this year, coming after high commodities prices pushed incomes higher in 2008. A report from the USDA's Economic Research Service said net farm incomes will fall 30 percent this year.

Net farm income, which was a near record $87.2 billion in 2008, is expected to fall $29.4 billion to be $9 billion below its 10-year average in 2009, as a result of reduced net value added and increased payments to stakeholders.

However, total expenses are forecast to decline for the first time since 2002. But the $9.2-billion decline in expenses projected for 2009 would still leave farm expenses 5 percent higher than in 2007.

Crop receipts would be the second highest on record in 2009, despite an $18-billion drop to $165 billion, following gains of more than 20 percent in each of the last 2 years. Livestock receipts are expected to decline $22.2 billion (15.7 percent) in 2009.

Government payments are forecast to be essentially unchanged in 2009. The projected decline from 2008 in ad hoc and emergency assistance payments is offset by increases in Milk Income Loss and countercyclical payments.

Profits have declined this year for grain processors and manufacturers of farm equipment.