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Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the 2023 Farm Sector Farm Income Forecast

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2023 – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service released its annual Farm Sector Farm Income Forecast report for 2023. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued the following statement:

“Today’s farm income forecast for 2023 shows that, while net farm income is expected to drop below the 2022 record high, it is still one of the best years on record for the overall farm sector at $151.1 billion. In fact, net cash farm income for 2023 is 15 percent above average for the last two decades, and farm income over the 2021-2023 period represents the highest level of farm income in the last 50 years. U.S. agriculture exports have also seen the three highest years on record in 2021-2023, which is reflected in overall cash receipts, while 2024 is projected to be the fourth highest year on record despite potential declines.

“Even so, the data shows a majority of farm households rely on off-farm jobs to make ends meet, indicating that the income is not evenly distributed across the farm spectrum. USDA will continue our efforts to bolster a complementary system that makes it possible for small- and mid-sized farms to benefit from more, new and better markets and climate smart agriculture opportunities so they can thrive. The change in net farm income this year is reflective of overall lower prices for farmers, higher production costs and higher interest rates, and declining government payments since their 2020 record levels.

“A bright spot for farmers is that some production costs, including feed, fertilizer and pesticides, have declined. USDA is taking all of these factors into account as we design and implement our programs, and as we work with Congress on the next Farm Bill into 2024.”

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