The U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2016 Farm numbers were released last week. As Farm Futures reports, farm income for 2016 is forecast to drop by almost 15% from last year’s levels. This is the third straight year net cash farm income has dropped. Most of the income decrease can be attributed to a drop in income from livestock and animal products.
John Hansen, head of the Nebraska Farmer’s Union, says the lower prices are putting a strain on producers and lenders. He said he’s expecting “a long and difficult winter as ag producers and bankers sharpen their pencils and struggle to come up with positive cash flows for 2017.”
But, Steve Nelson, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau, was quick to point out that agriculture is a cyclical business. “We talked about that when prices were high but clearly we’re on the downside of the cycle now,” he said.