The Agriculture Department this week releases the eagerly anticipated 2017 Census of Agriculture, which will provide fresh clues to consolidation trends in farming and measure the growth of small-scale and urban production and beginning farmers.
A USDA senior adviser acknowledged “missed opportunities to engage stakeholders” on the department’s plan to move the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture outside the Washington, D.C., area, but said the relocations would benefit both employees and taxpayers.
Editor's note: This is the third in our seven-part in-depth editorial series where we look ahead at “Farm & Food 2040.” Part three looks at how the failure to pass meaningful immigration reform is fueling adoption of the newest technologies in automation—primarily robotics—to stem the need for immigrant farmworkers. And we also feature new research identifying the "Farmer of the Future."
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said USDA developed evaluation criteria for interested parties who wish to house the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
USDA today forecast net farm income for this year at $65.7 billion, up from a February projection but down $9.8 billion, or 13 percent, from 2017, when the broad measure of farmland profits increased nearly 23 percent.
As trade tensions continue to rise, the thought of having to deal with another tough year of tight or absent financial margins can be daunting. According to the USDA's latest forecast, net farm income for 2018 is expected to fall to $59.5 billion, a 12-year low.