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USDA: 2010 net farm income forecast up 12%

Net farm income in the US is forecast to be $63 bln in 2010, up $6.7 bln (11.8%) from 2009, the USDA predicts. Times are expected to be better, particularly for livestock producers.

The 2010 forecast is $1.4 bln below the average of $64.5 billion in net farm income earned in the previous 10 years. Still, the $63 bln forecast for 2010 remains the 5th largest amount of income earned in US farming.

In 2009, crop prices continued to decline and prices for livestock animals and products plummeted. With economic conditions deteriorating worldwide, demand for exports tailed off, with few options available to expand marketing elsewhere.

Sharply declining demand in 2009 forced farmers to accept prices that were lower than expected when production plans were made.

Livestock forecast up

In 2010, the economic conditions for livestock producers are expected to improve, while the economic conditions for crop producers are expected to deteriorate slightly or stabilize.

Protein foods produced from animals and animal products are higher cost items, and subject to budgeting considerations. Amid a recession, consumers can reduce consumption of meat, milk, and eggs, or buy lower priced products.

For a complete overview of the estimates, click here.

Natalie Berkhout

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