As in previous drought years, net farm income in 2012 is expected to be fairly stable

A chart showing the real, inflation adjusted, net farm income and the occurrence of drought, years 1970 to 2012.

In current dollars (ignoring the effects of inflation), U.S. net farm income is forecast to exceed $122 billion in 2012 and net cash income is expected to exceed $139 billion, both record nominal values. The expected increase in income reflects large price-led gains in corn and soybean receipts, as well as large increases in crop insurance indemnities. Crop farm gains should be more than enough to offset livestock farmers' higher feed expenses and a decline in sales of wholesale milk. Extreme hot and dry conditions in the Plains and Corn Belt are drastically cutting projected corn and soybean yields. With corn and soybean supplies for the 2012 marketing year expected to be the lowest in 9 years, prices are increasing dramatically, resulting in higher than expected 2012 calendar-year receipts for many crops. This chart is from the Farm Sector Income & Finances topic page on the ERS website, updated August 28, 2012.

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