Thursday, August 27, 2009

Recession hitting Farms

by Bill McBride on 8/27/2009 10:26:00 PM

From the WSJ: Recession Finally Hits Down on the Farm (ht Bob_in_MA)

The Agriculture Department forecast Thursday that U.S. farm profits will fall 38% this year, indicating that the slump is taking hold in rural America. ... The Agriculture Department said it expects net farm income -- a widely followed measure of profitability -- to drop to $54 billion in 2009, down $33.2 billion from last year's estimated net farm income of $87.2 billion, which was nearly a record high.
And from the Chicago Fed August AgLetter:
Farmland values for the second quarter of 2009 were 3 percent lower than a year ago in the Seventh Federal Reserve District. ... Almost 30 percent of the responding bankers expected farmland values to fall in the third quarter of 2009, whereas 71 percent expected stable farmland values.
This will probably mean lower food prices, from the WSJ:
For most Americans, the chill in the farm belt is related to one of the few positives they see in this economy: slowing inflation. Prices farmers are receiving for everything from corn and wheat to hogs are down sharply from last year.