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US farm income projected to rebound in 2019

American soybean and pork farmers will continue to see incomes decline this year, but the rest of the sector is expected to rebound
American soybean and pork farmers will continue to see incomes decline this year, but the rest of the sector is expected to rebound GETTY/AFP/File
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New York (AFP)

After a challenging year due to tariffs on American soybeans and pork, US farmers are expected to see incomes rise in 2019, a government forecast said Wednesday.

Net cash farm income is projected to increase 4.7 percent in 2019 to $95.7 billion, according to US Department of Agriculture forecasts, after dropping 9.6 percent in 2018 due in part to higher expenses.

Even with the increase, income will still be far from the record $136 billion set in 2013.

Overall farm cash receipts are expected to rise 2.3 percent, with items like milk, cattle/calves, corn, and fruits and nuts benefiting from higher commodity prices.

But fallout from the trade conflicts will continue to weigh on soybeans and hogs, where cash receipts are projected to fall 6.6 percent and 3.2 percent in 2019.

These items have been caught in the cross-fire of US trade disputes, after China essentially boycotted US soybeans and Mexico hit pork with retaliatory tariffs, after US President Donald Trump imposed duties on steel and other items.

Forecasters expect overall federal farm program payments to decrease 16.8 percent in 2019 after having risen 19.3 percent in 2018.

The decline in the payments reflects more favorable commodity prices for most covered crops, the report said.

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