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00000179-2419-d250-a579-e41d38650002Issues of food, fuel, and field affecting Illinois.

USDA Predicts Farm Income Drop This Year

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Bill Wheelhouse
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WUIS/Harvest Public Media

Farmers’ can anticipate a sharp drop in income this year, according to a new report from the U-S Department of Agriculture. The U-S-D-A predicts the lowest amount of net farm income in five years.

The USDA expects farmers’ profits to fall by about by fourteen percent from last year’s record amount, thanks mostly to a massive drop in crop prices.

Although farmers are expected to produce record levels or corn and soybeans this year, the bumper crop will cause prices to slide and Midwest farmers will feel the pinch.

On the flip side, income from livestock is expected to soar. Pat Westoff, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri, says that’s because prices are climbing due to limited supply.

“We’ve had reduced numbers of beef cattle caused by recent droughts and a variety of other economic factors. In the case of pork it’s largely because of an animal disease problem that has restricted pork production," Westoff said.

The U-S-D-A still predicts U-S farm profits will exceed $113 billion.

Kristofor Husted is a senior reporter at KBIA in Columbia, Mo. Previously Husted reported for NPR’s Science Desk in Washington and Harvest Public Media. Husted was a 2013 fellow with the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources and a 2015 fellow for the Institute for Journalism and Justice. He’s won regional and national Edward R. Murrow, PRNDI and Sigma Delta Chi awards. Husted also is an instructor at the Missouri School of Journalism. He received a B.S. in cell biology from UC Davis and an M.S. in journalism from Northwestern University.
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