AFBF: Farm Economy Shows Signs Of Improvement

2021 is starting off with some bright spots for farm country, which has led to some early year optimism for the Ag economy. American Farm Bureau Federation Chief Economist John Newton said trade with China is certainly a highlight.

“Recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that preliminary exports to China during November [are] nearly $5 billion. So, when you add that to the existing total, we’ve now sold about $22.5 billion to China. So, that’s significant progress and a step in the right direction. We’re unlikely to hit the Phase One targets, but we could be close to record exports to China this year.”

Meanwhile, the latest coronavirus relief package includes roughly $13 billion in additional support for farmers and ranchers.

“It puts a $20 per-acre payment for crops that were included in the CFAP-2 program, it includes support for contract livestock and poultry producers, it includes a supplemental payment for cattle producers, and it also includes no less than $1.5 billion for food distribution programs, so it allows USDA to continue the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.”

Add to that the ongoing market rally and Newton said the farm economy outlook good start 2021.

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