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Government payments have driven farm income up

US farm income is forecast to increase for a third consecutive year.

Ani Katchova, an associate professor and farm income enhancement chair at Ohio State University, says the growth in farm income is mainly driven by an increase in federal support.  

“Most of them are coming from the market facilitation program…which would make the total amount of government payments forecast at $19.5 billion for 2019 for the U.S.,” she says.

The USDA Economic Research Service forecasts farm income at $88 billion for 2019. That’s up $4 billion from 2018 and $10 billion from 2017.

Katchova says the farm economy is showing signs of recovery since the agricultural downturn, but recovery has been slow as farm income remains below historic highs.  

“Farm income is still below historic highs of 2013 although we are seeing maybe they are approaching their long-term average,” she says.

Katchova spoke at the 2019 Ohio State University Ag Policy and Outlook Conference.

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