USDA revises 2019 and 2020 farm income estimates


USDA revises 2019 and 2020 farm income estimates

The USDA has lowered its 2019 and 2020 farm income estimates by $4.1 billion and $26.6 billion.

University of Missouri’s Scott Brown says part of the reason for the downward revision is “crop cash recipes were revised downward by $11.8 billion but then also cash expenses were increased by $11.7 billion dollars. The combination of those things led to the revisions.”

He tells Brownfield the rise in government payments didn’t have the anticipated impact on farm income in 2020.  

“Those 2020 levels, now $98.3 billion is frankly very comparable to 2019 estimate of $94 billion,” he says. “Even with the $45.7 billion of government payments in 2020, it only helped to offset the otherwise tough situation that we saw in terms of cash receipts and then higher expenses. It wasn’t the boost some of the earlier February numbers suggested.”

For 2021, the USDA is projecting net farm income to rise $18.5 billion to $113 billion.

“Crop cash receipts are projected up nearly $38 billion, livestock cash receipts are up nearly $27 billion, and then production expenses are up $26 billion,” Brown says. “The combination of all those changes in 2021 relative to 2020 is what gives us higher net farm income.”

He says that’s up 20 percent higher than the 2020 projection and 49 percent higher than the average farm income over the 2015-2019 period.

Brownfield’s Meghan Grebner interviewed Brown during the latest Weekly Livestock Market Update.