Mar 08, 2017 – from Investor Insights

No Relief in Sight for U.S. Farmers

Cloudy farmlandNew projections from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicate that there will soon be fewer than 2 million farms in the United States—the lowest number since the Louisiana Purchase. By every measure, the U.S. agriculture sector has struggled in recent years thanks to falling commodity prices. To be sure, some are predicting that the sector will rebound this year in the absence of El Niño. But this forecast fails to take into account what we know about weather cycles and global demand. El Niño may very well re-emerge before year’s end, while global warming will be a long-term drag on commodity prices. Moreover, the United States is rapidly losing ground to emerging markets that have ramped up their agricultural production.

U.S. farms have been struggling by almost every measure since the Great Recession. A new USDA report reveals that the United States has lost more than 100,000 farms since 2009, with total farm acreage falling by 6 million over that period. As recently as 2013, U.S. net farm income was on the rise, temporarily buoyed by soaring commodity prices. But those days are…

Sorry, this document can only be accessed by users logged in as a Subscriber.

Learn more about how to become a Trial User or a Subscriber.