USDA has forecast net farm income at 120.6-billion dollars in 2013. That’s up six-percent from 2012’s estimate of 113.8-billion. U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the year-over-year increase is a testament to the resilience and productivity of the nation’s farmers and ranchers. After adjusting for inflation – net farm income in 2013 is expected to be the second highest since 1973. Vilsack notes that’s coming even as agriculture has worked hard to recover from a historic drought and other disasters. Vilsack is confident farmers and ranchers will continue to show the determination and innovation that has been the hallmark of American agriculture for generations. But to help continue their strong momentum – he says producers and rural communities are counting on Congress to provide a comprehensive, long-term Food, Farm and Jobs bill that will lend certainty to Federal farm policy. Vilsack notes they are also looking for passage of a commonsense immigration reform measure to enable a stable and dependable ag workforce in the years to come.
Other highlights of the 2013 farm income forecast include a 10-percent decline in net cash income from 2012 to 120.8-billion dollars. Net cash income measures the difference between cash expenses and the combination of commodities sold during the calendar year plus other sources of farm income. Despite the decline – the forecast would mark just the fourth time net cash income – after adjusting for inflation – has exceeded 100-billion dollars since 1973. The projected 13.1-billion dollar increase in total expenses in 2013 – to 354.2-billion dollars – continues a string of large year-to-year movements that have taken place since 2002. In nominal and inflation-adjusted dollars – 2013 production expenses are expected to be the highest on record.
Farm sector assets, debt and equity are also forecast to increase in 2013. According to USDA – as in the last several years – increases in farm asset value are expected to exceed increases in farm debt – with farm real estate the main driving force. Both the debt-to-asset ratio and debt-to-equity ratio are expected to reach historic lows.
Source: NAFB News Service