05-02-19 NFU: Farmer’s Share of the American Food Dollar Falls to All-Time Low

NFU: Farmer’s Share of the American Food Dollar Falls to All-Time Low

For every dollar American consumers spend on food, U.S. farmers and ranchers earn just 14.6 cents, according to a report recently released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS). This value marks a 17 percent decline since 2011 and the smallest portion of the American food dollar that farmers have received since the USDA began reporting these data in 1993. The remaining 85.4 cents cover off-farm costs, including processing, wholesaling, distribution, marketing, and retailing.
The ERS report supports a larger story about the weakened state of the farm economy: net farm income is estimated to be just $66.3 billion for 2018, a 12 percent drop from 2017 and a nearly 50 percent drop since 2013. Similarly, median farm income is estimated to be negative $1,548, meaning a majority of farms lost money last year.
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson expressed concern about the news. “Conditions for farmers have been eroding since 2011, and there’s only so much longer they can hold on. Many have already made the heartbreaking decision to close up shop; in just the past five years, the United States lost upwards of 70,000 farm operations,” Johnson said. “We sincerely hope this startling report will open policy makers’ eyes to the financial challenges family farmers and ranchers endure on a daily basis and convince them to provide the support they so desperately need.”

Read more in the NFU release, and learn more about the farmer’s share of the food dollar here.

For every dollar American consumers spend on food, U.S. farmers and ranchers earn just 14.6 cents, according to a report recently released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS). This value marks a 17 percent decline since 2011 and the smallest portion of the American food dollar that farmers have received since the USDA began reporting these data in 1993. The remaining 85.4 cents cover off-farm costs, including processing, wholesaling, distribution, marketing, and retailing.
The ERS report supports a larger story about the weakened state of the farm economy: net farm income is estimated to be just $66.3 billion for 2018, a 12 percent drop from 2017 and a nearly 50 percent drop since 2013. Similarly, median farm income is estimated to be negative $1,548, meaning a majority of farms lost money last year.
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson expressed concern about the news. “Conditions for farmers have been eroding since 2011, and there’s only so much longer they can hold on. Many have already made the heartbreaking decision to close up shop; in just the past five years, the United States lost upwards of 70,000 farm operations,” Johnson said. “We sincerely hope this startling report will open policy makers’ eyes to the financial challenges family farmers and ranchers endure on a daily basis and convince them to provide the support they so desperately need.”
Read more in the NFU release, and learn more about the farmer’s share of the food dollar here.