Federal checks salvage otherwise dreadful 2020 for US farms

January 1, 2021

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – U.S. farmers are expected to end the year with higher profits than last year and the best net farm income in seven years thanks to the government paying nearly 40% of their income.

That’s according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest farm income forecast.

Farmer challenges in 2020 included the impact of trade disputes, drought and wind damage, and low prices for corn, cotton, wheat, chicken, cattle and hogs.

Farm cash receipts are forecast to be the lowest in more than a decade.

But farmers are expected to receive $46.5 billion from the U.S. government. That’s the largest direct-to-farm payment ever. It lifts net farm income to $119.6 billion. And that’s the highest profitability since 2013.