Ag Secretary Encouraged By USDA Reports

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has released the following statement in response to two USDA reports that show the strength of the overall rural economy and growth in agricultural exports:

"Today’s reports are encouraging news. They show that while American agriculture has struggled through difficult economic times, the 2008 Farm Bill, the efforts of the Obama Administration – such as the Recovery Act – and the hard work and resilience of America’s farmers and ranchers have helped put American agriculture on the road to recovery.

"After declining more than 20 percent in 2009, all three measures of farm sector earnings experienced a rapid rebound and are forecast to rise in 2010:

  • Net cash income is expected to rise more than 23 percent to $85.3 billion – the second highest on record and above its previous 10-year average;
  • Net farm income has rebounded, up 24 percent from 2009, when demand for agricultural products fell worldwide due to the global recession;
  • Net value added, at $127.3 billion, is expected to be up $15.2 billion from 2009, and remain 17.7 percent above its 10-year average.

"Other indicators also point to a sustainable recovery: farm asset values are projected to increase by 2.5 percent in 2010, as are equity values. And average farm family household income is projected to reach more than $81,000 in 2010 – up 5.8 percent from 2009.

"And this recovery is sector-wide. While an increase in the value of livestock production accounted for much of the upward movement, the value of dairy production rose by 26.2 percent; the value of meat animal production is up 14.6 percent, and the value of poultry and egg production rose 8.4 percent. And commercial farms and intermediate farms are all expected to have higher average net cash income in 2010 than they did in either 2009 or 2008. Rural residence farms will have lower net cash losses.

"A host of factors contributed to this strong and rapid recovery. Successful implementation of the 2008 Farm Bill passed by the U.S. Congress as well as the Obama Administration’s Recovery Act have provided strong support for American agriculture:

  • We have maintained a strong safety net for the agricultural economy by providing farmers and ranchers across America with direct support, disaster assistance, technical assistance, support to struggling industries, and access to credit. At the same time, we worked to build a stronger agricultural economy for future generations of Americans by investing in research, maintaining fair markets, and promoting marketing policies that will keep American agriculture the most productive and successful in the world.

"Another factor driving this recovery is an increase in income from exports. Today, USDA is excited to announce that we are raising our forecast for agricultural exports for Fiscal Year 2010 to $107.5 billion – the second highest year on record. This a $3 billion increase from the May forecast, and an $11 billion increase over last year. And Agriculture is one of the only major sectors of the American economy with a trade surplus – expected to be $30.5 billion this year.

"What’s more we expect to sustain this important progress. The outlook going forward into Fiscal Year 2011 is even more promising, showing $113 billion in agricultural exports.

"Increased agricultural exports – especially of grains and meat – have helped drive this rebound. It helps create important income opportunities for producers as well as the off-farm jobs that are so critical for strengthening economies in rural America. In fact, every billion dollars in agricultural exports supports over 8,000 jobs and generates an additional $1.4 billion in economic activity.

"And USDA – as part of President Obama’s National Export Initiative — has helped support these export numbers:

  • The President’s fiscal year 2011 budget proposal for USDA makes an additional financial request to enhance USDA export promotion activities.
  • And USDA has made strong progress to help increase exports. Under a new trade strategy, we are looking at countries based on their position on an agricultural market continuum.
  • As we pursue this new approach, we have maintained our commitment to an open rules-based international trading system that will benefit both consumers and suppliers of agricultural products around the world. We have continued to work through negotiations to remove barriers that prevent U.S. agricultural producers from getting open and fair access to foreign markets. And because we have full confidence in their quality and competitiveness, we will continue to push U.S. products to foreign markets.

"And we can’t forget the importance of the underlying values of rural America and its farmers and ranchers to the resilience of the agriculture sector:

  • American agriculture entered the recession with very little debt relative to the rest of the economy – and farm sector debt is expected to decrease in 2010;
  • A strong belief in the value of hard work positioned our famers capitalize on the economic recovery; and
  • American agriculture has improved on its incredible productivity and adaptability – embracing new research and innovation like few other sectors of the American economy.

"From day one, the Obama administration has focused on reversing nearly a decade’s worth of failed economic policies that helped to cause the worst recession since the Great Depression. We’ve taken steps to move the economy forward and get our people back to work while rebuilding a strong economic foundation to ensure future prosperity.

"As the rest of the American economy climbs out of the recession, American agriculture is helping lead the charge. As they have time and time again, American farmers and ranchers are stayed resilient and working to support a foundation of economic prosperity for the rest of the nation."

The 2010 Farm Income Forecast is available here.

(Source: USDA)

Leave a Reply

Latest News
Young Corn Closeup
FungicidesSummer Fungicides: Still A Difficult Sell
May 6, 2016
About a dozen years ago, Asian soybean rust (ASR) was working its way up to the U.S. from South America, where Read More
ManagementGlyphosate, GMOs, and Plantings
May 6, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj look at the latest news surrounding the ongoing glyphosate debate, biotech crops, and how Read More
Young Corn Field
Crop NutritionEnhancing In-Season Nitrogen Use Efficiency Is In The D…
May 5, 2016
Spring is here and crops are in the ground. Do you have a plan for your nitrogen during the growing Read More
ID3 Air Induction Flat Spray Nozzle | Lechler
Nozzles2016 Nozzles And Tips Report: Waste Watchers
May 5, 2016
Every year in the spring, ag retailers and their grower-customers prepare for the coming crop season. This involves prepping crop Read More
Industry NewsHELM AGRO Adds New Marketing & Business Development…
May 4, 2016
HELM AGRO US, Inc. has announced the hiring of Troy Bettner as the company’s new Marketing & Business Development Leader. Bettner Read More
Palmer amaranth in soybean stubble
HerbicidesWSSA: Billions In Potential Economic Losses From Uncont…
May 4, 2016
What losses would corn and soybean growers experience if they were forced to eliminate herbicides and other control techniques from Read More
Spray Drift
HerbicidesRoundup Ready Xtend: Silver Linings In Label Delays For…
May 4, 2016
Since 2014, Monsanto has trained more than 20,000 growers and retailers on all aspects of its new dicamba-tolerant system at Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSyngenta Board Appoints New CEO
May 4, 2016
Syngenta announced today the appointment of J. Erik Fyrwald, currently President and CEO of the U.S. chemistry distribution company Univar Read More
Crop InputsIntrexon Establishes Crop Protection Enterprise
May 4, 2016
Intrexon Corp., a leader in synthetic biology, has announced the formation of Intrexon Crop Protection (ICP), a wholly-owned subsidiary dedicated to Read More
Patriot 4440 Sprayer close up
ManagementFlashing Back And Moving Forward On Spray Drift
May 3, 2016
The potential for pesticide drift remains an unavoidable feature of modern agriculture. Here, too, history repeats itself. “When Roundup debuted, Read More
Giant Ragweed
HerbicidesSurvey Provides Insights On Giant Ragweed In The Corn B…
May 2, 2016
A new survey published in the journal Weed Science offers insights into the distribution and management of giant ragweed, a Read More
Truck dumping dry fertilizer
FertilizerFertilizer Logistics Q&A: Southern States’ Joe Wlod…
May 2, 2016
Joe Wlodkoski, Director of Agronomy Procurement, Fertilizer, Southern States Cooperative, is a 40-plus year fertilizer industry veteran. He is quite Read More
Eric SfiligojReasons For Hope In Commodity Prices
May 2, 2016
For many months now, the doomsayers have ruled the day in agriculture. Too much supply with too little demand would Read More
West Central Dome structure
FertilizerFertilizer Logistics 2016: All Clear, So Far
May 1, 2016
After a relatively hairy early start to the spring fertilizer movement season with flooding in Louisiana and St. Louis, things Read More
BAICOR
CropLife 100BRANDT Acquires Utah Specialty Fertilizer Company
April 28, 2016
BRANDT, a leading agriculture retailer and manufacturer of specialty ag products, has acquired a majority interest in BAICOR, L.C. BAICOR, Read More
Soybean field
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Adds Vice President Of Business…
April 28, 2016
Verdesian Life Sciences has announced the addition of Marc Treurniet to the plant health and nutrition company’s management team. Treurniet Read More
ManagementBiotech Crops Developments and Millennials
April 28, 2016
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Paul Schrimpf talk about the latest activities in biotech crops and a major shift in the Read More
Industry NewsNachurs-Alpine, Pathway Biologic Extend Marketing Agree…
April 28, 2016
Nachurs-Alpine Solutions (Marion, OH) and Pathway Biologic (Plant City, FL) announce an extension to their exclusive marketing agreement specific to Read More