After rebounding slightly in 2017, net farm income in 2018 is expected to fall to $59.5 billion, a 12-year low, according to the Agriculture Department’s most recent 2018 Farm Sector Income Forecast from the Economic Research Service. If realized, this would be the lowest net farm income since 2006 and would represent a decline of 6.7 percent from USDA’s 2017 projection.
Net farm income is a comprehensive indicator of U.S. farm profitability – for all crops and livestock – and includes cash receipts from farming as well as farm-related income, including government payments and noncash items like changes in inventories, economic depreciation and gross imputed rental income, minus cash expenses.
Net cash farm income is less comprehensive and does not include noncash items. Net cash income in 2018 is projected at $91.9 billion, down 5.1 percent from 2017 levels. If realized, this would be the lowest level since 2009.