For fiscal year 2021, the Department of Agriculture projects net farm income to increase $18.5 billion from 2020, or 19.5 percent, to $113 billion. Veronica Nigh, American Farm Bureau Federation Senior Economist, says the forecast puts net farm income at the highest level since 2013.
"We hit a low of $62 billion back in 2016," Nigh said. "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."
She says it's largely attributed to 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," Nigh said. "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 the 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."
Meanwhile, USDA projects total 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," Nigh said. "So, 7 percent is equivalent to about a $26 billion increase."