Farm earnings are broadly expected to ease this year, although USDA's latest farm income forecast projects skyrocketing prices for key commodities will help offset a steep drop in government payments and increases in production costs.
The recent boom in commodity prices is likely to continue through 2021 and into 2022, with supplies historically low worldwide at the same time Chinese demand for animal feed is growing and a worsening drought grips Brazil and Argentina, according to a top ag economist.
The power shift in the House Agriculture Committee is close to being complete. The House Republican steering committee on Wednesday picked Pennsylvania Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson as the Ag committee’s ranking member, replacing the retiring Mike Conaway.
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.