CoBank Releases 2023 Year Ahead Report

Dan Economy


The U.S. economy still has considerable momentum and is not currently on the verge of recession, according to CoBank’s 2023 Year Ahead Report. However, economists have never been more pessimistic, and there are legitimate reasons for concern. Over the past half-century, inflation above five percent has never been tamed without incurring a recession.

Dan Kowalski, vice president of CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange, says, “As financial conditions continue to tighten, we expect the U.S. economy will steadily soften through the first half of 2023.”


After two years defined by a strong economic rebound from the pandemic, the global economy will sputter in 2023. Despite the global pandemic and a steady barrage of disruptive challenges, the U.S. agricultural economy has fared quite well for the last three years.

However, in 2023 producers and related industries will begin to show financial strains. A relentless series of adversities, including skyrocketing production costs, steeply higher interest rates and weakening demand, will increasingly pressure farm income and margins.

(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)

The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the U.S. Rural Economy in 2023

By Brian Cavey , Brian Earnest , Tanner Ehmke , Rob Fox , Thomas Halverson , Jeff Johnston , Dan Kowalski , Christina Pope , Teri Viswanath and Kenneth Scott Zuckerberg


(CoBANK/DENVER, CO) — The Russia-Ukraine war, surging inflation, and an energy crisis joined the COVID-19 pandemic this year as major events defining the operating environment for U.S. companies. We can expect to feel the aftershocks in 2023. After posting record high net farm income in 2021 and 2022, margin pressure is coming to agriculture in the coming year. Steeply higher interest rates, escalating production costs, an elevated dollar, and weakening demand have become formidable foes. In addition, a divided government reflecting unique midterm election results will muddy the path of the next farm bill.


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U.S. Agricultural Economy

Farm Margins Under Pressure in 2023

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Grain, Farm Supply, Biofuels

Outlook for Biofuels is Solid, Less So for Grain and Farm Supply

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Animal Protein

Meat and Poultry Production to Slow Despite 2022’s Robust Profits

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Milk Supplies to Gradually Grow as Demand Base Shifts

And also

  • The U.S. Economy: Some Pain is Necessary
  • U.S. Government: Unique Midterm Results Muddy Farm Bill’s Path
  • Specialty Crops: Drought, Labor Shortages, and Strong U.S. Dollar to Keep Squeezing Specialty Crops
  • Rural Electricity: Time to Look Beyond Yesterday’s Energy Crisis Playbook
  • Rural Communications: Multiple Crosscurrents Set the Stage for the Rural Communications Market

Read the full report.