September 3, 2013 — “It’s good news and we want to obviously continue that momentum,” is how Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack described the report conducted by USDA’s Economic Research Service.
“Forecast of $6.8 billion increase in net farm income I think is a great statement about the resilience and productivity of U.S. farmers and ranchers, and I think it is a further sign of the positive momentum that has been achieved over the past five years,” he said.
The six percent increase is the second highest inflation adjusted amount since 1973. The forecast reveals a return to trend yields would lead to record crop production levels and result in substantial year-end crop inventories.
“It gives me confidence that our farmers and ranchers continue to show the determination and innovation that’s been the hallmark of American agriculture and the productivity of American agriculture for generations,” Vilsack reported.
It terms of farm sector solvency, both the debt-to-asset ratio and the debt-to-equity ratio are expected to reach historic lows. However, Vilsack said the forecast could change if Congress doesn’t get their act together and pass a new farm bill.
“This strong momentum could be stalled, and likely will be stalled, if Congress is unable to pass a comprehensive, long-term Food, Farm and Jobs Bill that will provide certainty in farm policy and if Congress is unable to get to a consensus immigration reform, which will stabilize the work force and allow us to make sure that we have a stable and dependable agricultural work force in the years to come,” he said.
Congress returns to work Monday, but will only have nine working days to get a lot of work done.