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U.S. Reports Record Net Farm Income

The U.S. farm sector is enjoying a broad-based boom, thanks to surging prices and vociferous demand from China, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Dec. 1. U.S. net cash farm income will rise 34 per cent to a record $92.5 billion this year, one of the the rosiest years for American agriculture in four decades.

“The recovery we’re seeing is sector-wide,” said Vilsack, pointing to an upturn in livestock and crop revenue.

Economic distress pulled down farmer income in 2009 from highs set in 2008. Prices rebounded this year, partly due to large soybean and cotton exports to China and the impact of a small wheat crop in Russia.

This year would be the fourth since 2004 when net cash income, adjusted for inflation, soared to levels of the mid-1970s, said USDA. The booming mid-1970s, marked by large sales to the Soviet Union, are the last comparable period of multiple years of high output and income.

USDA said net cash farm income in 2010 would be 2.3 per cent above the record set in 2008 and up 34 per cent from 2009.

For the year, USDA said cash receipts from crops and livestock would rise by 10.4 per cent from 2009. Livestock receipts would increase by $20 billion, led by dairy and hogs. Crop receipts would increase by $9.4 billion with cotton, soybeans and corn showing the largest gains. Production expenses would climb by two per cent, to $286.6 billion, and government payments of $12.4 billion would be up 1.5 per cent from 2009.



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