Recall that a recent update at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) webpage provided a closer look at information regarding U.S. Farm Household Income.
ERS pointed out that, “In 2010, median total farm household income was $54,162, up 3.7 percent from 2009 and 0.8 percent above the 5-year average for 2006-10. Median farm and off-farm incomes were $-2,020 and $49,490, respectively, both higher than in 2009. Median total farm household income is expected to increase by 1.8 percent in 2011, to $55,131, and to further increase in 2012 to $55,805. Most farm households earn the majority of their income from off-farm sources and off-farm income is expected to increase by 3.2 percent in 2011, to $51,069, and an additional 3.9 percent in 2012, to $53,037.”
Jay O’Neil, senior agricultural economist at Kansas State University, talks about the impact of the drought on farmers. and consumers.
Farm Bill Issues
The Washington Insider section of DTN reported yesterday (link requires subscription) that, “As Congress prepared to leave town last week to focus on the election –– if you can imagine a more intense political focus than the current preoccupation –– the House decided that the debate many had sought on the nutrition programs would be too divisive. Instead, it cobbled up an emergency disaster bill and passed it 223-197. The legislation is not expected to gain any significant support in the Senate.”
“House Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said the aid bill was necessary because the 2008 farm bill had set up disaster assistance programs to expire a year ahead of the rest of the bill as a cost-saving gimmick that has come back to bite.
“The measure was originally part of a one-year farm program extension that GOP leaders wanted to vote on before the August recess. But it became clear early last week that they would not have support from either side for that plan, and they decided to move an aid-only bill instead.”
The DTN update noted that, “While the drought bill gives House members something to talk about in their home districts, that conversation may be strained since the House bill has little chance of becoming law in its current form, observers say.”