Economist Mike Walden: Income Challenges on the Farm

With less than 2% of workers employed as farmers, most of us aren’t aware of the frequent ups and downs of farm income.  Where are we today in this income cycle?  Are farmers smiling or frowning?

  1. Farmers always face a challenging economic environment
  2. First is the weather – too hot, too cold, not enough rain, too much rain
  3. Second – competition is really international
  4. As a consequence, income often takes big swings
  5. Farm income has been trending downward since in past 5 years both nationally and in NC
  6. Lower prices for many products due to good supply
  7. Creates irony that when farmers do well in the field, they may suffer in the wallet
  8. Fed government tries to help farmers, and farm bill doing this is currently being negotiated