Inflation-adjusted U.S. net cash farm income (NCFI)—gross cash income minus cash expenses—is forecast to increase $23.4 billion (21.1%) to $134.1 billion in 2020. U.S. net farm income (NFI), a broader measure of farm sector profitability that incorporates non-cash items including changes in inventories, economic depreciation, and gross imputed rental income, is forecast to increase $35 billion (41.3%) from 2019 to $119.6 billion in 2020. While cash receipts for farm commodities are forecast to fall $7.8 billion (2.1%), direct Government payments are expected to rise to $46.5 billion, more than twice the 2019 amount, a result of supplemental and ad hoc disaster assistance payments for COVID-19 relief in 2020. Total production expenses, which are subtracted out in the calculation of net income, are projected to fall $9.5 billion (2.7%) in 2020, including a drop of $5.6 billion in interest expenses.
If forecasts are realized, NFI in 2020 would be at its highest level since 2013 and 32% above its inflation-adjusted average calculated over the 2000-19 period. NCFI would be at its highest level since 2014 and 22.5% above its 2000-19 average. Find additional information and analysis on the USDA, Economic Research Service Farm Sector Income and Finances topic page, reflecting data released Dec. 2, 2020.