Rates of Return in U.S. Agriculture


by Brent Gloy

Most of those involved in agriculture understand that farming can be a volatile business, with wide swings in profitability and earnings. But just how wide are those swings and on average what should one expect in terms of a return for their investment in agricultural assets? This week we take a look at the historical experience of the rate of return on assets in agriculture. Continue reading

Big Adjustments: The Latest USDA Net Farm Income Estimates


by David A. Widmar

The USDA recently released the latest estimates of sector-level net farm income. These data provide an overall measure of the economic and financial conditions of the agricultural sector. The latest forecast revealed a much higher forecast of net farm income than previously estimated. Those who regularly monitor these data – as Brent and I do – were surprised by the large, upward adjustment to sector income. This week we take a look at the latest data, the adjustments, and the implications moving forward. Continue reading

Sometimes Timing is Everything… An Updated Look at U.S. Farm Sector Financial Conditions


by Brent Gloy

Last week I thought that it would be a good time to look at farm sector financial conditions, particularly some ratios of repayment capacity.  My timing could have been a little better because only a couple days after I wrote the post, USDA made an update to its farm sector income forecast.  Usually you can count on these updates to be relatively minor.  Not this time.

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