FARM INCOME FORECAST TO DROP SHARPLY IN 2012
In its first income forecast for 2012, the United States Department of Agriculture predicted net farm income at $91.7 billion, down $6.3 billion or 6.5 percent from the 2011 forecast. Net cash income, at $96.3 billion, is forecast down $12.5 billion or 11.5 percent from 2011, but would remain $15.9 billion above the 10-year average (2002-2011) of $80.3 billion.
Crop receipts are expected to experience a slight increase in 2012. A marginal decline is anticipated for 2012 U.S. livestock sales.
Increases in sales of corn, most other feed grains and peanuts are predicted to offset declines in wheat, hay, vegetables/melons and fruits/tree nuts. The 2011 drought is expected to depress 2012 sales of many crops.
Sales of red meats are anticipated to remain high, while a price-led decline in milk sales is forecast.
Total production expenses are forecast to rise $12.5 billion (3.9 percent) in 2012 to $333.8 billion. The major 2012 crop-related expenses (seeds, fertilizer, pesticides) are projected to increase moderately (around 1 percent) as a group while the key livestock-related expenses (feed, livestock/poultry purchases) are forecast to rise 2.1 percent.
To view the full USDA report, visit http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/FarmIncome/nationalestimates.htm.