Although total receipts dipped in 2020, American farmers are expected to record their highest net income in seven years – thanks in large part to payments from the federal government that accounted for nearly 40% of farmers’ income.
David Pitt of the Associated Press reports on the latest forecast from the Department of Agriculture:
“Farm cash receipts are forecast to decrease nearly 1% to $366.5 billion, the lowest in more than a decade, measured in real dollars. Direct federal government payments saved farmers’ bottom line: Farmers overall saw a 107% increase in direct payments from 2019, when a third of net income came directly from the government.”
It's estimated that farmers will have received $46.5 billion from the government in 2020, the largest direct payment total in history. That sum includes $32.4 billion in payments related to the coronavirus pandemic, and billions more from the Trump administration effort to make up for losses associated with the trade war with China.