US farmers are poised to see the biggest hit to their income since 2006 this year as a slump in agriculture markets takes its toll.
Net farm income is forecast to fall about 26% in 2024 to $116.1 billion, according to US Department of Agriculture data released Wednesday. If the estimate holds, that would mark the biggest year-over-year drop since 2006.
The outlook is the agency’s first for the calendar year and comes after net farm income already fell about 16% in 2023. Prices for major crops have slumped amid plentiful supplies. And at the same time, American farmers have started to lose their dominance in global grain shipping as Brazil strengthens its position.
The expected decline for income in 2024 puts profits below the 20-year average of $118.2 billion, according to the USDA.
Direct government farm payments are expected to drop almost 16% from last year. Cash receipts are also seen decreasing, while total production expenses are expected to rise 3.8%.