2017: A Good Year for Livestock Producers and Land Values

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The USDA recently released end-of-year forecasts for 2017, and while some sectors show declines or slight growth, 2017 proves to be a solid year for livestock producers and agricultural landowners.

USDA Farm Income Forecast (Released November 29)

• 2017 cash receipts in the livestock sector: Forecasted to increase 7.6%.

• 2017 cash receipts in the crop production sector: Projected to decrease 2%.

Total cash receipts in agriculture are projected at $365.1 billion in 2017, for an increase of $8.6 billion. The main motivator for the uptick? A $12.4 billion rise in revenue from the livestock sector that includes dairy, poultry, egg, hog and cattle production. The figure is reflected in both the prices and volumes sold.

That’s good news for landowners who manage livestock properties as their profession or for those who augment other pursuits with supplemental livestock income. 2017 is not expected to be as kind to those raising crops. Projected cash receipts for crops declined by $3.8 billion (2%) to $189.9 billion. The main causes for those declines are in receipts for soybeans, fruits and nuts.

Overall, net farm income is stabilizing and expected to strengthen after three consecutive declining years. Additional good news for those looking to acquire land or expand their operations includes…

• Farm asset values: Increased by $81.1 billion, or 2.7%, to $3 trillion in 2017. This growth stems from a 3.3% increase in the value of farm real estate.

• The average HHI for farms: 2017 shows an increase of 1.7% ($77,551 median) after falling 6% in 2015 and remaining flat in 2016.

• Projected off-farm income increase in 2017: Up 2.3% (average of $67,973).

The opportunities for income growth (particularly from livestock) and land value appreciation in 2018 appear extremely favorable. LandLeader is currently poised to help buyers and sellers of agricultural real estate realize their top potential in the new year.