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Farm Economy Continues to Struggle as Net Farm Income Decreases and Production costs increase

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The depressed prices for wheat, corn, milo and other commodities - caused by a global glut of grain - is pushing some farmers further into debt.

As The Hutch News reports, net farm income for last year averaged $43,100, which while much better than last year, is significantly lower than record farm income farmers reaped from 2010 to 2014, when the average ranged between $130,000 to nearly $170,000 - thanks to high commodity prices for both crops and cattle.

With the cost of production being higher, the lower net farm income makes it difficult for farmers to stay in business without going into debt.

Wheat prices on Thursday were around $4.50 a bushel, well above last year’s prices, which dipped below $3 a bushel.

Kansas State farm economist Mykel Taylor said farmers “sort of produced their way out of 2016.”

The concern this year was the return to average yields, which she said could impact the farmer’s bottom line even more so than last year.