CHICAGO (Dow Jones) — Income on US farms is expected to climb this year as crop production grows following last summer’s deep drought, federal forecasters said Monday. The US Department of Agriculture forecasts net farm income to be $128.2 billion in 2013. That would be an all-time, nominal high and the highest since 1973 on an inflation-adjusted basis.
Forecasters said they expect production to climb from last year, with volumes from larger harvests offsetting price declines. The USDA projections assume crop production will return to historic levels after last year’s drought. The agency also expects a climb in the value of livestock, poultry and production, up 3.5% from 2012 as prices on average rise.
As part of Monday’s forecast, the USDA lowered its estimate for 2012 farm income by around 1% from its November outlook to $112.8 billion. Still, much of the year ahead depends on weather. The Great Plains remain locked in a deep drought, while dry conditions have eased in some parts of the Midwest such as Illinois and Indiana.