The net income for Missouri farms is predicted to fall this year, according to a spring 2023 report by the Rural and Farm Finance Policy Analysis Center at MU.

The year 2022 saw a record high for the state in agriculture, which was attributed to high commodity prices and the top seven crops in Missouri expanding 270,000 acres that year, according to the report.

Despite this, experts from the center warned about an expected decline in these numbers for 2023 in the 2022 report. They have now officially projected it in the latest report.

Missouri farm income is projected to decrease $546 million in the coming year, leveling out with the 2011-2014 averages. The state’s agriculture sector still fares better than the national numbers, with a 14% decrease in the state’s farm income comparing to a 19% decrease on a national scale.

What’s to blame for this drop?

The analysis center believes it might be due to the widespread drought impacting cattle inventory. It also reported that crop and livestock receipts — which record the revenue received by farmers — are expected to decline $832 million.

The center’s analysis says production expenses are believed to be a factor in the drop in income following changes in export restrictions, high natural gas prices and production disruptions.

The cost of feed has increased $815 million from 2020 to 2022, and fuel and oil expenses increased $184 million. In this same time, the cost of fertilizer rose $960 million. However, 2023 production expenses are predicted to increase by 2% or $236 million.

As for why these numbers are important to understand, “RaFF’s state-level insights are critical for decision-makers,” Scott Brown, interim director of the center, said in a Tuesday news release from MU. “By understanding how farmers’ and rural communities’ incomes are impacted by various factors, these individuals can be equipped with insights for program and policy discussions.”

This story originally appeared in the Columbia Missourian. It can be republished in print or online. 

Missouri Independent is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Missouri Independent maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Jason Hancock for questions: Follow Missouri Independent on Facebook and Twitter.