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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