Aid Increases 2020 Farm Income Projections

The USDA announced this week that farmers will earn more net farm income in 2020 due to federal relief programs. Net cash farm income is forecast to increase $4.9 billion to $115.2 billion. In inflation-adjusted 2020 dollars, net farm income is forecast to increase $18.3 billion, and net cash farm income is forecast to increase $4 billion. If realized, both income measures would be above their historical average across 2000-2019 when adjusted for inflation. However, the increase is not because of better prices or markets.

USDA said overall, farm cash receipts are forecast to decrease $12.3 billion to $358.3 billion in 2020. Total animal receipts are expected to decline $14.3 billion, and total crop receipts are forecast to increase $2.0 billion from 2019 levels. USDA said direct government farm payments, including federal aid but not loans and insurance, are forecast at $37.2 billion, a $14.7 billion, or 65.7 percent increase.

USDA said the expected increase is due to supplemental and ad hoc disaster assistance for COVID-19 relief.

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