Wisconsin farmers expected to end year with higher income
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Direct government payments are expected to help Wisconsin farmers end the year with a higher average income than they did in 2019.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service estimated in their latest farm financial forecast that net farm income will hit $119.6 billion in 2020, a 41 percent increase from 2019 and the highest income level since 2013.
Paul Mitchell, director of the Renk Agribusiness Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told Wisconsin Public Radio that the forecast is slightly higher than last quarter’s estimate, partly because of a price rally for corn and soybeans seen around harvest time.
Earlier forecasts also did not include the $13.3 billion expected to be paid to farmers through the second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
That means farmers are now expected to receive $46.5 billion in direct government payments. That’s $24 billion more, or 107.1 percent higher, than in 2019. By comparison, farmers received just under $13 billion in direct government payments in 2016.
Mitchell said the influx of cash will help many producers pay down their debts and catch up on capital investments.
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