Farmers Celebrate As Ag Boom Sends Incomes Soaring
Believe it or not, now is a great time to be a farmer. Agricultural commodities are set to lock in another year of annual gains, the longest stretch in decades, prompting higher farm incomes.
The Bloomberg Agriculture Spot Subindex, which tracks everything from corn, soybeans, and wheat to sugar and coffee, will lock in the fourth year of annual gains today.
Bloomberg said this would be the "longest stretch of annual gains since at least the early 1990s as drought and war cut production and erode inventories, keeping global food inflation simmering."
High prices for crops and livestock indicate boom times for the US farm belt, making farmers, ranchers, and agricultural firms all winners after a decade of sliding net farm income.
According to the latest US Department of Agriculture forecast, US net farm income is expected to jump to $160.5 billion this year. If realized, farm income would be at the highest level since 1973 in inflation-adjusted dollars, which would be a significant reversal from the agricultural recession that crushed farmers in the last decade.
Kenneth Zuckerberg, a senior economist at agricultural lender CoBank, told WSJ that farm income for the current cycle has probably peaked but will remain high in 2023. He said, "there's no way it'll be as good as 2022."
Perhaps all those millennials who were told "learn to code" only to be fired this year in a Federal Reserve-induced downcycle in tech might find more opportunity in farming.