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Highlights, USDA Agricultural Projections to 2024

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report titled, “USDA Agricultural Projections to 2024.”

At page 53, the report stated that, “Planted area for major field crops in the United States is projected to decline over the next several years as U.S. and global supplies rebound from relatively low levels in recent years and prices decline for most crops. As a consequence of the associated lower producer returns, U.S. planted acreage for eight major crops (corn, sorghum, barley, oats, wheat, rice, upland cotton, and soybeans) is projected to fall from a 2012-14 average of about 257 million acres to about 246 million in 2017.”

Yesterday’s report noted that, “Larger global production of grains and oilseeds in response to high prices in recent years has raised world supplies and lowered U.S. prices for corn, wheat, and soybeans. Following these near-term price declines, the continuing influence of several long-term factors—including global growth in population and per capita income, a relatively low-valued U.S. dollar, and global biofuel production—underlies moderate gains in these prices and keeps them above pre-2007 levels.”

At page 76, the report stated that, “The livestock sector is projected to adjust to lower feed costs, with stronger producer returns providing incentives for increasing production. Additionally, the pork sector rebounds from reduced production in 2014 that largely reflected effects of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv). Production expansions for pork and broilers are projected for the full projection period. Beef production increases begin in 2018 as near-term declines in output are exacerbated as more heifers are retained to build beef cow inventories rather than fed for slaughter. As a result, total U.S. red meat and poultry production is projected to rise over the projections period. Milk production also increases over the next decade.”

With respect to farm income, USDA indicated that, “Net farm income reached a record high in 2013, largely reflecting a runup in prices for many agricultural commodities. While net farm income is projected to fall from that record, it remains above the average of the 2001-10 decade.”

And at page 86, the report stated that, “Direct Government payments to farmers rise sharply in 2016, mostly due to ARC and PLC payments under the Agricultural Act of 2014. After falling through 2019, direct Government payments average almost $10 billion per year over 2020-24, compared to an annual average of over $15 billion in 2001-10. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), ARC, and PLC are the largest Government payments to the agricultural sector over the projection period.”