Farm Income Estimates Team

Estimates and forecasts of U.S. farm income have been produced by ERS and its predecessors for over 50 years. A key indicator of farm financial well-being, farm income can be sliced a number of ways, reflecting not only the complexity of a typical balance sheet but also the dissimilarity of U.S. farms and producers. ERS's farm income team synthesizes data from several other USDA agencies to derive farm income estimates and forecasts at different levels of aggregation.

Data Sources include all of the following:

  • Farm Service Agency
  • World Agricultural Outlook Board
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • National Agricultural Statistics Service
  • Agricultural Resource Management Survey

Roger Strickland

Roger Strickland has for many years overseen the issuance of estimates and forecasts for farm sector income. Sector income accounts represent all the earnings and expenses associated with the Nation’s farms and encompass all stakeholders providing resources to the production of agricultural goods and services. These broad data series are among the most used of ERS’s products, and are now updated several times a year on the ERS website immediately following the release of critical data. State estimates of receipts and expenses for the U.S. agricultural sector are published annually.

Mitch Morehart

Mitch Morehart develops financial indicators that focus specifically on the performance of farm businesses. These farm business income estimates and forecasts represent only those farmers and ranchers who consider farming their principal occupation. Agricultural policymakers are particularly interested in these indicators since this group of producers (intermediate and commercial size farms) is most affected by national agricultural programs. USDA’s annual Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) is the primary data source for this series.

Bob Green

U.S. farmers do more than farm, and Bob Green tends to the farm household income estimates and forecasts. These numbers represent the earnings from both farm and off-farm sources for the Nation’s households involved in agriculture. Because most of these households earn income off-the-farm, household employment choices are also monitored.

Farm Sector Performance and Well-Being Branch

Jim Johnson (above left) is chief of the Farm Sector Performance and Well-Being Branch, which houses the farm income programs and includes several other valued team members (above right) who contribute to these farm income programs.

Pictured are, Back Row (l to r): Ted Covey, Bob McElroy, Chris McGath, Linda Beeler; Front Row (l to r): Jim Ryan, Larry Traub, Mir Ali, Janet Livezey, and Patricia Vines (not pictured).

Major Clients and Products

Policymakers and analysts who rely on all levels of farm income estimates and forecasts range from farm groups to Congressional committees and the General Accounting Office, all the way up to the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

Farm sector income

  • Council of Economic Advisers
  • Bureau of Economic Analysis
  • State governments
  • Industry, market, and policy analysts
  • Media

Farm business income

  • Federal Reserve Bank
  • Comptroller of the Currency
  • USDA’s Farm Service Agency
  • USDA’s Extension Service
  • Farm Credit System
  • Congressional Agricultural Committees
  • General Accounting Office
  • USDA policy officials
  • Farm organizations

Farm household income

  • USDA policy officials
  • USDA’s Farm Service Agency
  • USDA’s Extension Service
  • Farm lenders
  • Agricultural policy analysts
  • Congressional Agricultural Committees
  • Farm organizations