U.S. farmers won’t see another year as profitable as 2020 for at least a decade, the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected Tuesday.
Farm profits soared to their highest level in seven years amid a flood of government aid related to the pandemic and the trade war, with direct federal assistance payments accounting for more than a third of U.S. farmers’ $121.1 billion in net income last year.
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Despite a continuous rise in sales through 2030, the USDA forecast profits would be lower, dropping to $100.1 billion this year and then fluctuating in a range between $99.3 billion and $109.8 billion through 2030.
The USDA projections assume no change in current government policy, though the Biden administration has suggested it is considering payments to farmers to encourage climate-friendly practices. The trade bailout isn’t scheduled to continue without new action from the president or Congress, nor are the pandemic relief measures.
U.S agricultural exports are forecast to rise 12% for the federal fiscal year ended Sept. 30, driven by higher prices and larger quantities as global demand strengthens. Shipment value is projected to surpass a record set in 2014 by the following year and continue upward for the remainder of the decade.