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Farmers Adjusting to U.S. Department of Agriculture Forecasts

As farms across the US prepare for the warm weather ahead, there is a sense of uncertainty among farmers. This uncertainty can be attributed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts that net farm income will drop about 9 percent this year, according to an article from The Daily Nonpareil. Author Barbara Soderlin explores the mindset of American farmers despite the bleak forecast.

Many farmers are actually expecting to lose money farming this year. Soderlin’s article contains excerpts from Iowa State University economist Chad Hart. Hart explains that “demand for agricultural products- grain, the livestock that eats the grain and the fuel made from it – is high in the United States and abroad, but huge supplies are keeping prices low”.

In this article, Soderlin addresses:

  • The projected farm income and median income for farm families
  • The prices farmers need to break even, and why we are below those levels
  • Why farmers should sell when the market hits a profitable price
  • Strategic moves farmers are taking this year

As farmers brace for the economic impact for the upcoming farm year, University of Nebraska-Lincoln economist Cory Walters explains why farms “need working capital, a rainy-day fund”. Walters explains that “you can’t cut fertilizer if your soil sample says you need fertilizer…but if you’re thinking of buying a newer tractor? You might ask the question of ‘Can I survive with one that’s a few years older?’ “. Soderlin’s article does a nice job of reporting on what US farmers are going through.

To read more, see the full article from Barbara Soderlin in The Daily Nonpareil.