Federal Aid Helps Increase Ohio Farmer Incomes Despite Wet Spring, Less Crops | WOSU Radio

Federal Aid Helps Increase Ohio Farmer Incomes Despite Wet Spring, Less Crops

Oct 23, 2019

Despite a disappointing year for growing corn and soybeans in Ohio, farm incomes on average are likely to go up compared to last year. 

Ohio farmers planted 1.5 five million fewer acres of corn and soybeans in 2019 because of too much rain in the spring.  However, Ohio State associate professor and chair of the Farm Income Enhancement Program, Ani Katchova says incomes for farmers will rise again this year.

She says government payments will make up 17 % of farmers' net cash income.  That is the highest in recent years.

"We expect that net farm income would increase by $4 billion or by about 4.8 % to $88 billion," Katchova says.

Katchova says across the country, government funds paid to farmers through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) have dramatically increased.

"They're expected to more than double this year to $10.7 billion," she says.

Katchova says though while farm incomes have stabilized, many farms with high debts are still struggling.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects yields for both corn and soybeans in Ohio will be Ohio's smallest since 2008.

Katchova says it's too early to say if there will be more government funds next year for farmers.

"Everything depends on how the trade talks continue for this year and if there’s going to be any resolution to them," Katchova says.