Tough times on the farm: US profit squeeze expected to continue for fourth straight year

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This year, U.S. farmers are expected to net profits of $62.3 billion, or one-half of the record $123 billion they reaped in 2013, according to last week’s USDA report. For many producers facing a fourth consecutive year of declines amid persistently depressed commodities prices, breaking even is a best-case scenario in 2017.

The government forecast for wheat prices pegged a year-over-year decline of $1.4 billion, or 17 percent. Record harvests around the world have led to a global glut, and that in combination with a stronger dollar has crumbled the export market to decades-low levels.

Repayment rates bottomed out at a level not seen since 1999, which means farmers haven’t been this slow in paying back their loans in almost 20 years.
At the end of the third quarter, 1.7 percent of farm loans were classified as nonperforming. That’s up from 1.1 percent a year earlier and is the highest level since 2012.

“After the (farm crisis in the) ’80s, we thought we would have more weekend farmers and see more of them carrying jobs during the week,” [said Tom Jensen, First National’s senior vice president of ag lending.] “I think there will be more of that.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Farms face steep slide: Net profits this year expected to be half of what they were in 2013

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