Doane: Highlights of USDA’s long-range forecasts to 2022
Surprise: USDA sees CRP acreage rebounding! Acres in the Conservation Reserve Program declined by 2.5 million acres at the end of fiscal 2012, to just under 30 million, and most people have expected further declines in the coming years. But the USDA long-term forecast shows the CRP actually increasing in size from 2013 to 2022, back up to nearly 32 million acres. However, both the Senate and the House farm bill proposals would cap the CRP at 25 million acres.
The peak in net cash farm income is behind us, according to the USDA’s long-range forecast. Net cash farm income was about $135 billion in 2012, but that measure declines to $103 billion by 2017. Then there is a modest rebound in net cash income to $105.4 billion by 2022.
Surprisingly, cash expenses also decline early in USDA’s forecast. Cash expenses are put at about $316 billion in 2013, falling by about $20 billion to $297 billion in 2015. Then expenses turn higher, reaching $346 billion at the end of the period.