February 7th, 2015
from the Chicago Fed
During the first four years following the Great Recession (which ended in mid-2009), farmers and ranchers generated the highest levels of real agricultural income since 1973, which contrasted sharply with the uneven fortunes of the broader economy over this span. Yet, since mid-2013, the incomes of crop producers have decreased, while those of livestock producers have increased, as crop (and feed) prices have fallen dramatically, mostly as a result of record or near-record harvests.
Hence, risk management remains as critical as ever, as crop producers contend with a downturn in farm income following several years of prosperity.1 Experts from academia, policy institutions, banking, and the farming industry gathered at the 2014 conference to examine these and other farm income trends, plus their interplay with the regional economy.