WASHINGTON--A new forecast from USDA projects increased net farm income in 2021.
For the fiscal year 2021, the Department of Agriculture says net farm income will climb to $18.5 billion from last year, that's up19.5 percent, to a whopping $113 billion.
Farm Bureau economist Veronica Nigh, says the forecast puts net farm income at the highest level since 2013.
“We hit a low of $62 billion back in 2016. So, reaching $113 billion in 2021 is certainly an impressive turnaround for the sector. Sixty-eight percent of that increase in receipts is due to a price impact, which means about 30 percent of that increase is due to increases in the quantity sold,” said Nigh.
Economists say the rise in farm income is because of increased commodity prices.
“On the crop side, obviously a significant increase in receipts from corn, soybeans, and wheat, which are forecast to increase by $38 billion. But it's not all good news on the crop side, unfortunately, for specialty crop growers, vegetable and melon, and fruit and nut cash receipts are projected down by over $4 billion. On animal products, we're looking at an increase of $26 billion. On the dairy side, basically, no change, which is the third year in a row, unfortunately, for our dairy sector that we haven't seen an increase,” said Nigh.
But the US Department of Agriculture is projecting farm expenses up 7 percent from last year.
“Of course, that's influenced by an increase in fuel and oil prices, increase in fertilizer prices, and labor expenses. So, 7 percent is equivalent to about a $26 billion increase,” said Nigh.
With the second wave of fall harvests about to start, Idaho farmers will still bring in more than last year, yet pay out more in expenses in this drought-plagued harvest of 2021.