The Department of Agriculture Wednesday predicted a slight increase in farm income for 2017, reversing three years of major decline. The August update of the farm income forecast predicts net cash farm income for 2017 at $100.4 billion, up $11.2 billion, or 12.6 percent, from 2016.
Net farm income, a broader measure of profits, is forecasted at $63.4 billion, up $1.9 billion, or 3.1 percent, relative to 2016. USDA says the stronger forecast growth in net cash income is largely due to an additional $9.7 billion in cash receipts from the sale of crop inventories.
The net cash farm income measure counts those sales as part of current-year income while the net farm income measure counted the value of those inventories as part of prior-year income. However, that predicted increase is still lower than every year from 2010 to 2015. During that period, net farm income peaked in 2013 $131.3 billion.