Surging supplies of U.S. corn and soybeans coupled with higher revenue for specialty crops will boost farm incomes to a record this year even after grain prices fell, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday.
Net-farm income will reach $131 billion, up 8.6 percent from the $120.6 billion forecast in August and 15 percent higher than a year earlier, the USDA said.
Farmers in the U.S. are projected to produce a record 13.989 billion bushels of the grain this year. Soybean output will be 3.258 billion bushels, the third-biggest ever, government forecasts show. Global food costs tracked by the United Nations are 14 percent below the all-time high set in February 2011 as crop supplies gained.
“Bigger grain crops mean farmers have more bushels to sell, and that helps to offset the drop in grain prices,” Michael Swanson, the senior agricultural economist in Minneapolis at Wells Fargo, said. “A lot of specialty crops including hay, vegetables, fruits and nuts have done very well this year. Pistachios and almonds are just gold.”