The Department of Agriculture predicts net farm income will decline 8.3 percent in 2018, dropping $5.4 billion to $59.5 billion.
Meanwhile, USDA’s Economic Research Service suggests that net cash farm income is forecast to decline $6.7 billion, or 6.8 percent, to an inflation-adjusted figure of $91.9 billion. USDA says the forecast declines are the result of changes in cash receipts and production expenses. If realized, 2018 net farm income would be the lowest since 2002 and net cash farm income would be at its lowest level since 2009.
Both profitability measures remain below their 2000-2016 averages, which included substantial increases in crop and animal/, and animal product cash receipts from 2010 to 2013. Net cash farm income includes cash receipts from farming as well as farm-related income, including government payments, minus cash expenses.
Net farm income is a more comprehensive measure of profits that incorporates non-cash items, including changes in inventories, economic depreciation and gross imputed rental income.