Tell Us What You're Seeing

American farmers and ranchers have faced a 50 percent decline in net farm income since 2013. While the years leading up to the decline were record setting years, the downward slide has been just as dramatic. NFU has heard many stories of hardship and stress impacting our members’ communities for two years. Data compiled by the USDA, Federal Reserve Banks, and academic institutions provide evidence of the hard times farmers and ranchers are facing.

  • Net farm income is forecast to decline by 8.7 percent to $62.3 billion in 2017, the fourth consecutive year of declines.
  • Farm debt is forecast to increase by 5.2 percent, while farm asset values are forecast to decline by 1.1 percent in 2017.
  • Financial liquidity measures, including working capital, are forecast to weaken in 2017, as are solvency measures such as the debt-to-asset ratio.
  • The 2017 debt-to-asset ratio is the highest the agriculture industry has seen in three decades.
  • Agricultural lenders have made interest and collateral adjustments to loan terms in recognition of the heightened risk.
  • Across the plains and western states delinquency rates for farm real estate and non-real estate loans increased slightly in the fourth quarter, but still remain low.
  • Farm lending at commercial banks continued to moderate in early 2017. The volume of non-real estate farm loans originated in the first quarter declined 16 percent from 2016, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

  • NFU has spent the last two years highlighting the impact the declining farm economy has on family farmers and ranchers. Our organization continues to serve as a strong advocate for programs that aid farmers and ranchers. We have provided written and personal congressional testimony, made annual requests for appropriations, led hundreds of meetings, and requested emergency assistance on numerous occasions.

    We encourage you to visit NFU.org to learn more about the work NFU is carrying out on behalf of America’s family farmers and ranchers. To help us better inform decision makers about the need for assistance, we encourage you to send us updates about the challenges you’re seeing in your area. NFU will continue to make your voices heard and ensure this crisis will no longer be ignored.





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