Pandemic fuels relapse in farm income


Pandemic fuels relapse in farm income

A relapse in farm income is expected this year as COVID-19 continues to rattle the ag sector.

Pat Westhoff with the University of Missouri’s Food and Ag Policy Research Institute tells Brownfield there has been a sharp decline in prices for a wide variety of commodities.

“If those lower prices persist for the rest of the year, we are going to have much lower receipts for both crop and livestock producers than we would have guessed earlier. There may be some savings for farmers on the cost side, but it is not likely to be nearly enough to offset the lower income from lower sales this year.”

Westhoff says back in January they predicted a slight decline in net cash income even if the phase one trade deal with China resulted in significant additional sales from the US.

“We were looking at net cash income this year of about $117 billion, own from $120 billion last year. Whereas net farm income was expected to be up this year at about $106 billion, up from last year’s $94 billion.”

He says now that unforeseen impacts from COVID-19 are playing out, he expects both of those numbers to be significantly lower for 2020.

Interview with Pat Westhoff

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