Several Factors Behind Positive Farm Economic Trends

Farm sector income increase leads the way.

One of the highlights from USDA's recent Agricultural Income and Finance Outlook report was continued growth in farm sector income. That is one of many factors that support other positive financial trends heading into 2009 according to Economic Research Service economist Ken Erickson.

"The financial performance measures, the rates of return on assets, equity, and the debt asset positions compare very, very favorably pretty much across the board," Erickson says.

Erickson says that the ratio of assets to debt is extremely favorable.

"The returns on farm investments are strong, supported both by income from the current year but also by the growth in farm asset values which generates capital gains," Erickson says. "So the total return when you look at the returns from capital gains and from current income is quite strong and compare very favorably to virtually any other period in the last 30 years."

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