Thursday, February 24, 2011

Net Farm Income Forecast Up Nearly 20 Percent in 2011

Net farm income is forecast to be $94.7 billion in 2011, up $15.7 billion (19.8 percent) from the 2010 forecast, despite a $20-billion jump in production expenses. The 2011 forecast is the second highest inflation-adjusted value for net farm income recorded in the past 35 years. Cash receipts are expected to increase 9.1 percent, with cotton, soybean, wheat, and corn receipts showing the largest gains.

The value of the farm sector's equity (net worth) is forecast to rise 6.8 percent in 2011. The estimated increase in farm sector equity is largely due to an estimated 6.3-percent increase in the value of farm business real estate. Farm asset values are expected to have the largest percentage increase since 2007. With modest increases in debt, inflation-adjusted equity should exceed 2007’s peak levels. The farm business sector's debt-to-asset ratio is expected to decline from 11.3 percent in 2010 to 10.7 percent in 2011, and the debt-to-equity is expected to decline to 12.8 percent in 2010 to 12.0 percent in 2011. This indicates that the farm sector’s solvency position remains strong.

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