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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Missouri Farm Incomes Could Set Records in 2011 Up 30 percent in 2010 Nationwide


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The overall economy may continue limping along in 2011, but American farmers could plow their way to record harvests.

Researchers at the University of Missouri predict the state's farmers could take home $3.29 billion next year, surpassing the 2008 record of $3.05 billion, while federal estimates hint at a nationwide farm income surge in the new year.

U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers released estimates showing farmers earned 30 percent more in 2010 than they did in a discouraging 2009.

Despite the dip in 2009, American corn growers have seen net incomes soar over the past decade, largely because of increased demand from overseas and from federal mandates to use ethanol in gasoline. While corn, for example, sold for $2.25 a bushel in the early 2000s, it costs about $6 now and has reached more than $7.

The price increases have helped boost farm incomes in six of the past 10 years.

The Missouri predictions are based on estimates of planted acres and prices. Economists have yet to make estimates for Illinois, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will not release its newest state and national estimates until February.
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