Financial conditions in rural America have stabilized after being rocked by the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, but some ag lenders say they’re concerned about the prospect of another wave of economic hardship if the virus were to intensify once again.
Some big 2021 unknowns persist, including how COVID-19 will continue to disrupt markets and demand, whether government payments will continue to be robust and whether or not U.S. farmers can pivot to gathering more of their income from the marketplace.
Farm earnings are likely to fall sharply this year despite the $16 billion in COVID-19 assistance payments now being distributed, and farmers’ income is likely to drop again in 2021 without additional government aid, according to a widely followed forecast of the agricultural economy.
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.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2017 – It’s been three long years of decline, but farm revenue is now expected to rise this year, slightly, according to a forecast released today by the USDA’s Economic Research Service.
On paper, I appear to be the picture perfect stereotype of an east coast liberal: I’ve been working at environmental nonprofits for over 20 years, I’m an Ivy League grad, and I live in the “bluest” county in Virginia. When it comes to first impressions in the world of agriculture, I’ve been met countless times with skepticism and even contempt.