USDA is reporting that net farm income, a broad measure of profits, is forecast to decrease $9.1 billion (12.1%) from 2017 to $66.3 billion in 2018, after increasing $13.8 billion (22.5%) in 2017. Net cash farm income is forecast to decrease $8.5 billion (8.4%) to $93.4 billion.
In inflation-adjusted 2018 dollars, net farm income is forecast to decline $10.8 billion (14.1%) from 2017 after increasing $13.0 billion (20.2%) in 2017. If realized, inflation-adjusted net farm income would be 3.3% above its level in 2016, which was its lowest level since 2002.
Inflation-adjusted net cash farm income is forecast to decline $10.9 billion (10.5%) from 2017 to $93.4 billion, which would be the lowest real-dollar level since 2009. Net cash farm income encompasses cash receipts from farming as well as farm-related income, including government payments, minus cash expenses. Net farm income is a more comprehensive measure that incorporates non-cash items, including changes in inventories, economic depreciation, and gross imputed rental income of operator dwellings.