USDA has forecast net farm income at $120.6 billion 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% decline in net cash income from 2012 to $120.8 billion. 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 since 1973. The projected $13.1 billion increase in total expenses in 2013 - to $354.2 billion - 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.