U.S. Farm Income, Randy Schnepf, Specialist in Agricultural Policy, December 3, 2013.
“According to USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), national net farm income – a key indicator of U.S. farm well-being – is forecast at a record $131 billion in 2013, up 15% from last year, and about $13 billion above 2011’s previous record. In addition to record net farm income, farm wealth is also at record levels. Farm asset values – which reflect farm investors’ and lenders’ expectations about long-term profitability of farm- sector investments – are expected to rise nearly 7% in 2013 to a record $3,008 billion for a fifth consecutive year of gains. Farm land cash markets have continued to see gains related to strong crop prices in 2013. Since 2008, farm asset values are up 49% while farm debt has risen by only 28%. As a result, the farm debt-to-asset ratio has declined steadily since 2008 and is expected to fall to 10.3%, its lowest level since 1960.”