Cautious optimism seen on ag economic conditions

November 15, 2017

Academics and Federal Reserve bank surveys show improvements in farm incomes and stabilizing farmland values.


With some improvements in 2017 in farm income and farm assets, optimism is slowing growing for finding the bottom in the current low agricultural economic cycle.


The downturn in agriculture has been gradual over the last three years, with increases in farm incomes and farm assets forecasted for 2017. Strength in farmland markets has helped as cropland values and cash rents remain flat for the U.S.


“Livestock cash receipts are expected to increase, and we do see strength in farmland markets, where declines are seeming to stabilize,” Ani Katchova, Ohio State University associate professor and chair of the farm income enhancement program, said during Ohio State’s recent Agricultural Policy & Outlook Conference held Nov. 9.


If the improvements continue, that would be good news, she said, adding “Only the future will tell, but I am cautiously optimistic about the outlook for this year and next year.”