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National agricultural income reaches record high

POSTED October 25, 2013 5:12 p.m.

Cornstalks aren't the only thing about agriculture that will be soaring high this year.

Record high incomes will also be touching the sky.

Recently, the Department of Agriculture forecasted that the net farm income in the United States will reach $120.6 billion this year, a gain of six percent from last year. Officials stated that the current forecast is based on predictions of cash corn receipts from the Midwest.  After being adjusted for inflation, the 2013 income would mark the highest net farm income since 1973, according to the USDA.  

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the increase in income is a showcase of the tenacity of the country’s farmers.

“This week’s forecast of a $6.8 billion increase in net farm income is a testament to the resilience and productivity of U.S. farmers and ranchers, and a further sign of the positive momentum they have achieved over the past five years, said Vilsack. “I am confident that our farmers and ranchers will continue to show the determination and innovation that has been the hallmark of American agriculture for generations.”

In unadjusted terms, this year’s income will exceed the previous high of $118 billion in 2011. As recently as 2009, the national agriculture net income was significantly less than recent numbers, with farmers raking in a little over $60 billion annually. The 2013 income marks an almost 100 percent increase since then.

Along with direct sales of crops, increases in farm value assets are also expected to pass up debts owed up the nation's farmers, adding to the 2013 increase.

 Although the sum income is expected to be higher this year, more prominent national crops took a dip in price. Both corn and soybean saw drops, with corn prices falling 13 percent when compared to last year and soybeans dropping 6 percent. In contrast, chicken, live stock and milk production saw substantial increases.

Vilsack said in order for the country to continue thriving in agriculture, it is pivotal that Congress provides a farm bill to allow that to happen.

“To help continue their strong momentum, 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 – as well as passage of a common sense immigration reform measure to ensure a stable and dependable agricultural workforce in the years to come,” said Vilsack.  

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