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."
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue testified before the House Agriculture Committee on Tuesday morning at a hearing on the “State of the Rural Economy.” Recall that back in May, shortly after his confirmation, Sec. Perdue also provided lawmakers on the Committee with an update on rural economic issues. Trade issues with China and the ongoing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were among the key concerns that emerged on Tuesday.
An update on Friday from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City ("Agricultural Lending Increases, As Do Interest Expenses for Farmers," by Cortney Cowley and John McCoy) stated that, "Lending at agricultural banks increased sharply in the fourth quarter, after appearing to stabilize in previous quarters. Large loans drove the increase in farm lending, which may heighten concerns about cash flow in 2018 as interest rates have continued to rise steadily."
CoBank recently released a new report that explored a variety of issues that will impact the U.S. rural economy in 2018. In addition, recent newspaper articles have discussed reports relating to the value of U.S. farmland. This update briefly highlights core points from the CoBank report, and also looks at the new information on farmland values.
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve Board released its January 2018 Beige Book update, a summary of commentary on current economic conditions by Federal Reserve District. The report included several observations pertaining to the U.S. agricultural economy.
Cortney Cowley, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, indicated in an update last week ("As Winter Looms, Key Risks Keep Ag Outlook Cool") that, "Following steep declines for three consecutive years, farm income was expected to stabilize in 2017 and beyond. In inflation-adjusted dollars, real net farm income was forecast to be relatively unchanged from 2016."
Earlier this week, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas released its Agricultural Credit Survey for the fourth quarter of 2017. The Fed update indicated that, "Demand for agricultural loans overall continued to decrease for a ninth consecutive quarter. Loan renewals and extensions continued to increase, while the rate of loan repayment stabilized after falling last quarter."
The Agricultural Economics Department at Purdue University recently released its annual outlook report that contained 12 specific articles looking at various aspects of the U.S. agricultural economy. This post highlights key points from the Purdue report relating to cash rents, farmland values, and the price outlook for corn and soybeans.
In the last few days, USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) and Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) have released three separate reports that contain current information relating to dairy sector analysis in China, U.S. livestock trade, and the the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement (KORUS). This update briefly highlights core points from the three USDA reports.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) has recently released two separate reports that provide interesting perspective on the structure of U.S. agriculture. The first provides a detailed overview of current statistics relating to U.S. farms, while the second highlights the evolving distribution of Federal farm payments (1991-2015). This update underscores key findings from the two recent ERS reports.