Market News & Headlines >> USDA Revises Farm Income Estimates Upward

The U.S. farm income picture is not looking quite as bleak as USDA forecast back in February, thanks largely to falling production expenses, which led USDA to sharply boost its estimate of 2015 net income and raise its forecast for 2016 income on Tuesday. 

Farm income is still expected to decline for the third straight year in 2016, but USDA raised its estimate of 2015 net farm income by 43% from its February forecast to $80.7 million. USDA now forecasts 2016 net income at $71.5 million, down 11.5$ from last year, but up 30% from its February forecast. 

Lower production expenses for livestock/poultry, fertilizer, fuel and feed are expected to help push total production expenses down $10.1 billion in 2016 to 348.70 billion from 358.71 billion in 2015. It would be the second straight year of lower production expenses as 2015 expenses were estimated down $31.6 billion from 2014. 

Farm Bill program payments-including Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC), Price Loss Coverage (PLC), and the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP)-are forecast to increase nearly 25% to $13.5 billion in 2016.