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La. Farm Bureau/Radio Network‏

February 17, 2014

Farm Income Should Remain High

U.S. net farm income should remain historically high over much of the next decade based on strong overseas demand for agricultural products, the USDA says in its annual 10-year baseline projection.

While farm commodity prices may fall in the short term as global production responds to recent high prices, "long-run developments for global agricultural products reflect steady world economic growth and continued global demand for biolfuels," USDA said in the report.

Exports of U.S. corn, for example, are expected to climb to 1.7 billion bushels in the 2014-2015 crop year (which begins Sept. 1) from 1.4 billion bushels in the current year. By 2023, overseas shipments may reach 2.25 billion bushels.

The department projects a record 2014 corn crop of 14.260 billion bushels, up from 13.989 billion in 2013, and a harvest of almost 15 billion bushels in 2023. Yields by then may reach 183.6 bushels per acre, up from 160.4 in last year's crop and 165.6 bushels per acres for the crop that will be sown this spring. As yields rise, harvested acres are expected to fall, from 97.2 million acres for the 2012 crop, to 81.1 million acres in 2023.

Soybean exports should increase to 1.79 billion bushels during the 2023-2024 crop year, compared to 1.45 billion in the current year and 1.64 billion bushels in the year starting Sept. 1, USDA said. A record crop of 3.48 billion bushels is projected, up from 3.258 billion last year. Production may jump to 3.785 billion bushels in 2023, USDA said.

Wheat exports are expected to climb over the decade, but just barely, from 1.11 billion bushels in the current crop year to 1.115 billion a decade from now. Production should also remain fairly stagnant, with a projected crop of 2.185 billion bushels in the 2023-24 crop year, compared to 2.13 billion in 2013-14 and 2.22 billion in the following year.

The baseline report assumes there will be no "domestic or external shock" that would affect agricultural markets and that "normal weather" conditions will prevail. It also is based on provisions in the 2008 farm bill. Global economic growth of 3.2 percent a year is assumed, while U.S. growth is expected to be 2.6 percent annually.

The report is not a "forecast," the USDA cautions. "Instead, it is a description of what would be expected to happen under these very specific circumstances and assumptions."

Field Crops Value Slightly Lower in 2013

The value of production for principal field crops in Louisiana during 2013 totaled $2.74 billion, down 4 percent from

$2.86 billion in 2012. The top three crop commodities (excluding sugarcane); soybeans, corn and rice, accounted for 65 percent of the total value of production for principal field crops. All principal field crops in Louisiana, with the exception of rice, grain sorghum and wheat, showed decreases in value of production from 2012. Hay in Louisiana showed the largest percentage decrease from 2012 at 45 percent, followed by cottonseed at 37 percent and upland cotton at 27 percent. Rice showed a 30 percent increase in value of production from last year.

At the national level, the value of production for principal field crops was down10 percent, at $167 billion, from 2012. Corn, at $62.7 billion, was the leading field crop followed by soybeans at $41.8 billion and all hay at $20.2 billion.

Oops! I Goofed.

Last Thursday, there was an article in this newsletter that stated flat out "Goss's Wilt is a fungal infection...". Boys and girls that was just flat out wrong! I don't know how many conversations Dr. Clayton Hollier and I have had about Goss's Wilt and every single time he's told me Goss's Wilt is caused by a bacterium and NOT a fungus! I listened to him, I even put him on the radio talking about it and will again in the not too distant future. But somehow that little bit of wrong information got out and I apologize. Just goes to show you a Professor of Plant Pathology at the LSU AgCenter never misses much. And for sure when it comes to Goss's Wilt. Thanks for keeping me straight Clayton. I owe you another one!

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