Record agricultural exports are contributing to favorable economic conditions for the U.S. farm sector. Exports to China have risen to record levels, with increases in soybeans, corn, wheat and cotton. High crop prices and strong producer margins are expected to bring more acreage into production, but continuing drought in much of the western United States is a concern.
The Farm Credit Administration says farm sector income is expected to remain above average in 2021. Stronger market prices and receipts are expected to mostly offset the decline in government payments. Strong farmland values, especially in the Midwest, reflect current income prospects, increased interest from both farmers and investors, and low interest rates.
The data was presented to the Farm Credit System last week. Despite the pandemic’s shock to the U.S. economy and agriculture, the system remained safe and financially sound in 2020. The system reported strong results for the year, including robust loan growth driven by real estate lending, higher earnings, and increased capital.
(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)