Although farm receipts from sales of commodities have declined, U.S. farm income is projected to increase this year because of the influx of federal government payments authorized by coronavirus emergency legislation, according to the latest Farm Income Forecast published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS).
USDA Chief Economist Rob Johansson said 41 percent of farm income in 2020 will be from government payments. There is an estimated $37 billion in government farm payments this year, including $16 billion from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) and about $6 billion from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), ERS said, in addition to disaster payments, trade mitigation payments and payments made under conservation and commodity programs.
“If realized, in inflation-adjusted terms, net farm income in 2020 would be 25.4 percent below its peak of $137.6 billion in 2013, but 13.8 percent above its 2000-19 average ($90.2 billion),” ERS reported.
Net cash farm income is forecast to rise this year by 4.5 percent, or $4.9 billion, to $115.2 billion even though farm cash receipts are expected to decline by 3.3 percent, or $12 billion, ERS reported. Net farm income, a broader measure of profits, is forecast to increase almost 23 percent, or $19 billion, to $102.7 billion in 2020.