Economic Tidbits

Farm Income Revised Lower

The latest report from the Center for Agricultural Profitability at the University of Nebraska and the Rural and Farm Finance Policy Analysis Center at the University of Missouri projects Nebraska net farm income for 2022 will be $7.2 billion, down from last fall’s projection of slightly more than $8.0 billion. If realized, 2022 farm income would be 10 percent less compared to 2021. However, 2022 would still rank as one of the top four income years for Nebraska farmers with a level similar to those seen in 2011 and 2013 (Figure 1). The latest USDA projections estimate better net farm income in 2022 for U.S. agriculture as a whole. Income in Nebraska, in contrast, is expected to be lower due to the impacts of drought. USDA estimates of Nebraska income will be forthcoming in October. 

The Nebraska and Missouri economists also take a swing at projecting farm income for 2023 in their report, forecasting a slight bump to reach $7.3 billion. Crop receipts are projected to be lower this year compared to 2022 due to lower prices. Livestock receipts are projected to be higher because of higher cattle and calf receipts. And production expenses are projected to increase by 2 percent, welcome relief to Nebraska producers who experienced double-digit increases in expenses in both 2021 and 2022. 

Figure 2. Nebraska Net Farm Income

Source: 2000-2021 – USDA Economic Research Service; 2022-2023 – Baltsbarger, B., Lubben, B., Brunkow, T., Dennis, E., McClure, G., Parsons, J., Thompson, E., Van Tassell, L. & Walters, C. March 2023. Spring 2023 Nebraska Farm Income Outlook. RaFF Report #01-2023.

Much is left to be written of 2023 and uncertainties abound. Weather, U.S. and global economies, the war in Ukraine, global supply and demand, and Chinese demand will take unforeseen and interesting turns in 2023, much like a Major League Baseball season. Forecasts, while providing a sense of the state of the farm economy, are fraught with difficulty because of the uncertainties. What’s the takeaway from the most recent income forecasts? Nebraska producers are on solid financial footing and are well positioned to meet whatever 2023 throws at them. The latest farm income forecasts can be found at: https://cap.unl.edu/documents/policy/Spring_2023_NE-farm-income-outlook_FINAL.pdf

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