Farm Income May Break Records

Despite a severe summer drought that has crippled agricultural production across the country, farm incomes may break record highs this year, largely due to skyrocketing prices.

For the past several months, states across the country have been under siege by severe weather patterns. With record high temperatures and record low precipitation, most of the country experienced some kind of drought (with more than 1,000 being declared federal disaster areas).

This drought has had a serious impact on farming, particularly in the Midwestern Corn Belt. With most corn crops in the region badly damaged by the extreme weather, prices were expected to sharply increase (boosted in part by continued ethanol demand).

These prices increases may help certain farmers and may drive up average farm incomes across the country. Thanks to high market prices, corn farmers were able to significantly increase their profits on salvageable corn crops. Generous federal crop insurance programs, insulating these farmers from major damage, covered those crops that were not salvageable.

Livestock farmers, however, are not likely to see these benefits. The price increases that are helping grain farmers are driving up feed costs and deeply cutting into many ranchers’ bottom lines.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer