Farmers can expect the largest recorded year-to-year dollar drop in net farm income in 2024. Income is estimated to be nearly $40 billion lower this year compared to 2023, down more than 25 percent.
Net farm income is the profit farmers see after paying for operating expenses. Two major factors impact income forecasts — lower prices paid to farmers for crops and livestock and increased costs for supplies. While these are early estimates and they could change throughout the year, USDA anticipates a decrease in net farm income, moving from $156 billion in 2023 to $116 billion in 2024.
“Farm families are suffering through the same economic hardships as all families in America,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “High inflation is making the food farmers grow more expensive to produce, and is cutting into the income farm families rely on to pay bills, provide an education for their children, and reinvest in their community. We urge Congress to focus on bringing costs down and passing a new farm bill, both of which will help ensure farmers can continue meeting the needs of a growing nation.”
The Market Intel explains, “Cash receipts for crop and livestock sales are expected to move from $507 billion in 2023 to $486 billion in 2024 for a loss of $21 billion. The forecast decline in crop receipts explains nearly 80 percent of this difference, signaling a weaker incoming year for row crop prices.”
Production expenses remain stubbornly high as well. Transportation, labor, pesticide and fertilizer costs are all hitting farmers’ bottom line. Production expenses are estimated to increase 4 percent, or $16.7 billion, in 2024, totaling $455 billion in 2024.
Read the entire American Farm Bureau Federation economy’s analysis of USDA data in the latest Market Intel.
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Author: Heidi Crnkovic