2020 Farm Income Higher Due to Government Payments

Net farm income, a broad measure of profits, is forecast to increase $36 billion to $119.6 billion in 2020. According to the Economic Research Service, in inflation-adjusted 2020 dollars, net farm income is forecast to increase by $35 billion, the fourth-straight year the income numbers have gone up. If the prediction comes true, net farm income in 2020 in inflation-adjusted terms would be at its highest level since 2013 and 32% above the 2000-2019 average of $90.6 billion.

However, cash receipts for all commodities are forecast to decrease by $3.2 billion to $366.5 billion. Direct government farm payments are forecast at $46.5 billion dollars, an increase of $24 billion in nominal terms. Total production expenses, including operator dwelling costs, are forecast to decrease by $5.2 billion dollars to $343.6 billion in 2020.

Interest expenses, livestock/poultry expenses, and oils/fuels costs are all expected to decline, but fertilizer costs and net rent to landlords are both expected to increase. The ERS said the predicted increase is due to the supplemental and ad hoc disaster assistance for COVID-19 relief.

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