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USDA expects another drop in net farm income

Staff writer |
The USDA Economic Research Service Tuesday predicted a 2.5 percent decline in net cash farm income, forecasted at $54.8 billion this year.

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That figure is more than 50 percent off the record-high income level of $123.3 billion in 2013. Safety net programs are expected to deliver $13.9 billion in payments, up 31 percent, with most of the payments from the Ag Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs.

Farm expenses are expected to fall just one percent to $376.5 billion this year, representing the first consecutive annual decline since 1986.

The U.S. farm debt-to-equity ratio will rise for a fourth straight year, indicating “a higher level of financial stress is building” according to USDA. However, USDA noted the debt-to-equity ratio remains low compared to historical levels.

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