Farm Household Income Forecast for 2019 and 2020—February 2020 Update

Median Income of Farm Operator Households Forecast to Rise in 2019, Remain Flat in 2020

Total median farm household income is forecast to increase to $76,810 in 2019 and to remain relatively flat in 2020, at $76,590. In percentage terms, that is a nominal increase of 5.6 percent (a 4.1 percent increase after inflation) between 2018 and 2019, and a subsequent decline of 0.3 percent (a 2.1 percent decline after inflation) in 2020. The forecast rise in 2019 is notable because it is counter to the trend from 2015 through 2018 of declining median farm household income.

Farm households typically receive income from both farm and off-farm sources. Median farm income earned by farm households is forecast to increase in 2019 to -$1,383 from -$1,735 in 2018 but then decline slightly to -$1,840 in 2020. In recent years, roughly half of farm households have had negative farm income each year. As a result, many of these households rely on off-farm income—and median off-farm income is forecast to increase each year, up 2.2 to $67,314 in 2019 and up 1.9 percent to reach $68,589 in 2020. Because farm and off-farm income are not distributed identically for every farm, median total income will generally not equal the sum of median off-farm and median farm income.

See the Farm Household Income and Characteristics data product tables for financial statistics of farm operator households.