North Dakota farm profits face sharp decline

Profits for North Dakota farm equipment users fell recently.
Profits for North Dakota farm equipment users fell recently.
A recent report from the North Dakota State University Extension Service showed farm profits dropped more than 50 percent last year.

The extension service based its numbers on farms that take part in the state's Farm Business Management Education program. Though the previous two years saw farm profits high, 2009's average net income for forms was down to $86,665.

The drop in profit was especially felt by cattle farms in the state, which saw an average net income of $8,440. Beef farms managed 3.3 cents of net income for every dollar they spent, which was far lower than the 17.9 cents posted by crop producers in the state.

Andy Swenson, a specialist with the extension, said that lower prices coupled with higher costs have affected beef producers for a number of years now.

"Hopefully, these negative trends peaked in 2009 when net income per beef cow was the lowest since 1996," Swenson said.

While profits were down, leaders in the state have set up a model farm in Ukraine to try and encourage North Dakota's exports, including farm equipment and products.ADNFCR-2034-ID-19775781-ADNFCR