By Gene Hall
It’s been a tough three years for agriculture, and 2017 isn’t looking much better. Farm income is likely to drop nearly 9 percent this year, marking the fourth consecutive year of declines.
How bad is bad?
Well, net farm income is expected to fall to $62.3 billion. That’s half of the record $123 billion U.S. farmers and ranchers earned in 2013.
Farm debt is forecast to increase by about 5 percent.
And with many crop prices low, farmers are looking to tighten their wallet. But there’s not much left to pinch. The downturn is pushing many American farmers out of business.
Some say the next few years could bring the biggest wave of farm closures we’ve seen in decades.
But we’ve been here before. Farmers have learned from their experiences. Even so, many difficult decisions lie ahead.
Our Texas farm families are facing a long, hard year.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
You may read this week’s editorial above or listen to the audio version.