2018 Decrease in Net Farm Income
The USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) publishes reports explaining indicators of economic performance for the U.S. farm sector and farm businesses. Stakeholders can use these analyses to inform their perspective on the financial health of the U.S. agricultural economy.
The program’s forecast of 2018 farm income exposes a projected decrease in both net farm income and net cash farm income. Net cash farm income includes “cash receipts from farming as well as farm-related income (including government payments),” but net farm income is “a more comprehensive measure that incorporates non-cash items.” After an increase in 2017, they were both expected to decline this year. This may be due to the increase in production expenses, calculated to be 3.3% more than 2017, 1.2% after inflation adjustment. Since 2013, net farm income has been on a declining trend, but this year’s projections are certainly not on par with last year’s spike.