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U.S. Farm economy

  • Farmers in the upper Midwest hit by a solar storm that affected GPS receivers used to plant spring crops, Americans flower-buying habits generate big business, and agriculture is likely to take another direct hit from tariff increases on Chinese imports.
  • Agriculture in Indian Country generated almost $6.5 billion in 2022, avian influenza has led to infections and depopulation of more than 115 million chickens and turkeys, the collapse of the Baltimore Key Bridge and shut down the Port of Baltimore impacts farm machinery and agricultural exports, low water levels in the Mississippi River continue to affect agricultural transport, and U.S. farm income is falling as low commodity prices, trade headwinds, and higher costs squeeze profits.
  • The USDA releases the 2022 Ag Census, revealing that since 2017 the U.S. lost nearly 142,000 farms and more than 20.1 million acres of productive farmland, that just over 26,000 farms account for 50% of all sales for all products, and an overall continued rise in the average age of farmers.
  • Colorado Governor Jared Polis announces grants for development of the simultaneous use of land for solar energy production and agriculture, the Colorado Department of Agriculture is inviting agricultural producers to submit listings for this year’s Farm Fresh Directory, the latest Rural Mainstreet Index finds that farmland prices increased over the past month while borrowing costs have increased, and agricultural leaders express concerns about where the U.S farm economy may be headed.
  • Recent winter storms bring much-needed moisture to the Four Corners, environmental data show that December 2023 was the warmest December on record, and the ag economy was down in 2023 compared to 2022 (the worst since 2013) which could indicate the ag economy is heading into another farm debt crisis.
  • Farm economists note that farm profits weakened in 2023, farmland prices remain strong, Avian Influenza continues to impact both domestic poultry and wild bird populations, and an alternative way to dispose of your live Christmas tree that serves local birds.
  • Data from USDA’s Economic Research Service suggests that net farm income will drop sharply from last year, the Colorado Wolf Restoration Final Plan outlines release locations and constraints, major tractor manufacturers anticipate bringing smaller utility electric tractors to the market, and suggestions for bringing home a pest-free live Christmas tree this year.
  • Pork producers make an attempt to overturn Proposition 12 in California, the U.S. Global Change Research Program releases it's most recent analysis of current trends in global climate change, and the Rural Mainstreet Index reports some concerning trends for the rural economy.
  • The USDA declares that 2023’s U.S. corn production was the largest on record, a billion-dollar wind and hail weather disaster hits the southern Plains, farmers remain optimistic despite concerns over input costs, and beef cattle continue to be big business in Colorado and across the country.
  • How the Israel–Hamas conflict is affecting agriculture in the area, highly pathogenic avian influenza could cause an increase in turkey prices for Thanksgiving, butter prices hit a record high, and why converting farm equipment to electric power may not work.