Wisconsin farmers expected to end year with higher income

Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 9:24 AM CST
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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.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.