• If the USDA numbers prove accurate, net farm income for 2013 will be the second highest since 1973.
USDA is estimating net farm income will be $120.6 billion in 2013.
That would be up 6 percent from 2012’s numbers of $113.8 billion and, after adjusting for inflation, the second highest since 1973.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said the overall positive forecast is “a testament to the resilience and productivity of U.S. farmers and ranchers.”
Of course, it is also a testament to crop insurance and the importance of strong farm policy in a time of historic drought and other weather-related production problems.
In 2012, farmers spent an estimated $4.1 billion on crop insurance premiums.
Net cash income, measuring the difference between cash expenses and the combination of commodities sold during the calendar year and other sources of farm income, was forecast at $120.8 billion, down just over 10 percent from 2012.
In both nominal and inflation-adjusted dollars, 2013 production expenses are expected to be the highest on record, leading with rent, labor and feed increases.
Highlights from the 2013 Farm Income Forecast are at www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-economy/farm-sector-income-finances/highlights-from-the-2013-farm-income-forecast.aspx.
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