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USDA Expects Farm Profits to Fall 25% in 2024
Iowa Ag Connection - 02/09/2024

USDA's broad measure of profits -- net farm income -- is forecast to drop 25.5% from 2023. That's nearly 41% lower than 2022's record when adjusted for inflation.

USDA forecast net farm income to be $116.1 billion. That's 1.7% lower than the 20-year average.

Net cash farm income is expected to fall significantly below the long-run average. Net cash income measures cash farm-related income from the year minus cash expenses and excludes changes in inventory, depreciation and rental income from dwellings.

USDA expects net cash farm income to decline by 24.1% from 2023 to $121.7 billion in 2024. That's 13.7% lower than the 2003-2022 average and 43.2% below 2022. Lower cash receipts, lower direct government payments and higher production expenses all play a role in declining farm incomes.

"USDA's lower net farm income estimates for 2023 and 2024 reflect the transition of going from corn prices above $6.00 and soybean prices near $15 in early 2023 to less than $4.50 for corn and less than $12 for soybeans today," DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman said.

Increased supplies of crops will help the livestock industry and keep both feed and food costs down.

"But the painful part of this transition is that for many corn growers, cash prices in the low or even mid-$4s will not be profitable in 2024, and the protective levels of crop insurance will likely be too low to help," he said.

For soybean growers, current cash prices near $11.50 are roughly 80 cents a bushel below USDA's average production cost estimate.





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