January 21, 2020

USDA Outlook; Food Security; Biofuels; Climate Issues; and USDA Civil Rights

USDA Outlook

USDA chief economist Joe Glauber provided an updated economic outlook for agriculture yesterday at the Department’s Annual Outlook Forum in Arlington, Virginia.

In part, Dr. Glauber noted that, “On February 11, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) released its initial estimates of farm income and production expenses for 2010. ERS forecasts net cash income at $76.3 billion, up $5.5 billion from 2009” [related graph from presentation].

And with respect to crop prospects for 2010, Dr. Glauber stated that, “Less land is expected to be planted to the major field crops in 2010 as prices continue to ease from their record levels in 2008…Total planted area for the 8 major crops (wheat, corn, barley, oats, sorghum, soybeans, upland cotton, and rice) is expected to decline to 247.3 million acres, down 1.6 million from 2009. The 8-crop total is down 5.7 million acres from the recent high in 2008 as the net returns outlook is much less favorable than 2 years ago when prices were at or near record highs” [related graph from presentation].