Weekly Insights

February 23, 2020

U.S. Dairy Consumption Trends in 9 Charts

The recent bankruptcies of dairy processors Dean Foods and Borden Dairy highlighted challenges within the dairy industry. Downward trends in dairy consumption, mainly milk, was frequently cited as a significant factor. In light of all this, this week’s post is a look at U.S. dairy consumption trends.

February 16, 2020

Farm Debt and Working Capital Continue to Deteriorate

Last week we reviewed the USDA’s latest farm income projections and noted sector-wide incomes are expected to increase again in 2020. Furthermore, current projections reflect an upward trend in farm income since 2016, with levels above the long-run, inflation-adjusted average. While all this is positive, farm income is only a single measure of the farm […]

February 9, 2020

2020 Net Farm Income: Early Forecasts Higher

The USDA released it’s first – and early- forecast of net farm income for 2020. Farm income is an important – but not complete- measure of the health farm economy. While the headlines are positive, we took a more in-depth look at the estimates in this week’s post.

February 2, 2020

Farm Capital Expenditures Stabilizing?

It’s no great secret that modern farming requires significant amounts of capital.  Capital expenditures made by farm businesses can be quite volatile, typically rising as incomes increase and falling as they decrease.  This volatility creates lots of challenges for the businesses that supply capital goods to the sector as well as the farmers themselves.  Faced […]

January 27, 2020

Trade and the Farm Economy: Two Charts to Watch in 2020

Before the ink dried on the newly signed Phase 1 trade agreement, dozens of articles and Twitter threads emerged with clever insights into the nuances and subtleties of agreement. Most debates focused on the base level China agree to buy up from, and the relevant commodities and products. Stepping back from the details, this week’s […]

January 20, 2020

Is the World More Reliant on Meat Trade?

Last week’s post looked at the expanding impact of trade in U.S. meat, especially beef and pork. As a follow-up, this week’s post considers the trends in world trade of beef, chicken, and pork. Is the world more reliant on meat trade?