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David Sparks Ph.d 2-13 NWR Lower NFI
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Northwest Report
Date: February 13, 2017

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This is your Northwest report for Monday, February 13 I’m David Sparks and we reported last Thursday that there is more evidence of a continued downturn in the US farm economy. USDA says net farm income is likely to decline this year by 8.7% to $62.3 billion. A dramatic drop in labor costs and other expenses has helped boost Oregon’s net farm income: Oregon farmers and ranchers have generally seen a better bottom line in their balance sheet thanks to steady agricultural production and prices combined with an overall drop in expenses. The assessment is based on the latest statistics available from USDA that shows a net farm income for Oregon of $1.2 billion for 2015. Jim Johnson of the Oregon Department of Agriculture says it’s that decrease in the expense categories that makes the big difference: “Overall, the cost of labor to their operations is down as a general rule. Energy costs are down– fuel costs. Several other tangibles, but those are the two big ones.”  

Elsewhere, agri-pulse.com tells us producers are holding off on equipment purchases as commodity prices continue their downward slide. Michael Cornman is a segment marketing manager for New Holland: "We have seen a dip which is not surprising given the prices of beef and milk”.

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