Comparing the impact of government payments on farm income

Farm income is projected to increase to about $103 billion in 2020 because of government payments.

Purdue University’s Michael Langemeier says in adjusting for inflation and comparing government payments from 1973 to 2020 he found that…”This latest year is the highest during that time period, which might surprise some people, but it just shows how large those government payments are expected to be this year,” he says.

He says many people remember large government payments in the 1980s, but they still aren’t as high as the 2020 projection.  

“One of the things about the 1980s that made them see even bigger is net farm income was relatively low so as for portion of net farm income, some of those years in the 1980s contributed mightily to net farm income,” he says.

Langemeier says government payments also caused farm incomes to rise in 1983, 1987, 1999, 2000, and 2001.

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