WASHINGTON, D.C. (Reuters) — The U.S. agricultural sector will enjoy record high income in 2013 as bin-busting grain harvests in the Midwest more than offset expected lower prices, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Net farm income in the United States is expected to reach $120.6 billion this year, up six percent from 2012 but down from the $128.2 billion preliminarily forecast in February, mostly reflecting updated forecasts for cash corn receipts.
When adjusted for inflation, net farm income will be the second highest since 1973, the USDA said.
In unadjusted terms, it will exceed the previous high of $118 billion in 2011. Net income was just $60.4 billion as recently as 2009.
By contrast, net cash income was forecast to fall more than 10 percent in 2013 from the previous year to $120.8 billion. The USDA attributed the decline to substantial crop stockpiles expected at year-end.
“Not all crops produced in 2013 will be sold by the end of the 2013 calendar year. We anticipate substantial increases in the annual quantity and value of crop inventories, particularly for corn,” the department said.
Increases in farm asset values are expected to continue to exceed in-creases in farm debt, netting a record high for farm equity, it said.
Cash receipts are expected to fall 5.5 percent on the year for crops but rise 4.9 percent for livestock.