Agricultural Economy: Land Values, Value of Production, and Number of Farms

Today's update looks briefly at recent publications from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.  These reports give additional insight into the state of the U.S. agricultural economy by providing information on agricultural credit conditions and land values, the value of agricultural production, and the number of farms in the U.S.
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USDA-ERS Report: Farmland Values, 2000-2016

Today's update looks briefly at farmland values in the United States, with a specific focus on a recent report from USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) that examined farmland values from 2000 to 2016.  The ERS report noted that, "The value of farm real estate accounts for over 80 percent of the value of farm-sector assets and is an important indicator of the sector."
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Farm Groups Concerned About Additional U.S. Trade Restrictions- China Agricultural Retaliation

Following the implementation of U.S. import tariffs on solar panels and washing machines, more recent news regarding potential executive branch trade barriers imposed on steel and aluminum imports have caused concern among some American agricultural groups.  China is a leading producer of solar panels and steel, and is also a key export destination for U.S. agricultural exports.  As U.S. farm income potentially languishes for another year, export markets have become increasingly important to the value of U.S. crop production.  Some observers have cautioned that agricultural products could be targeted by China in retaliation for additional U.S. trade restrictions.
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USDA Releases 10-Year Agricultural Projections- Focus on Corn, Soybeans

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its 10-year projections for the food and agricultural sector.  The report noted that, "Over the next several years, the agricultural sector continues to adjust to lower prices for most farm commodities. Planted acreage drops slightly despite continued low energy costs. However, marked shifts occur – most notably strong global demand for soybeans is expected to induce soybean plantings that exceed corn acreage. Lower feed costs and continued strong global demand provide economic incentives for expansion in the livestock sector."  Today’s update highlights aspects of the report that focused on corn and soybeans.
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Cottonseed Included in Title I of the Farm Bill

A budget agreement reached last week included language that paves the way for cotton producers to participate in Title I commodity programs of the Farm Bill.  After previous unsuccessful attempts to facilitate this change to the 2014 Farm Bill, the new provision allows cottonseed to be an eligible program commodity effective with the 2018 crop year.
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2018 U.S. Farm Income Forecast Released

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (ERS) indicated on Wednesday that, "Net farm income, a broad measure of profits, is forecast to decrease $4.3 billion (6.7 percent) to $59.5 billion in 2018, which would be the lowest level in nominal terms since 2006."
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