Washington, D.C. — Bleak economic prospects for America’s farmers, detailed in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) latest 2018 Farm Income Forecast, underscore the need for a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) says Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy.
“Rural communities are falling further behind, and many farmers are wondering if this next harvest will be their last,” said Skor. “The latest figures show farm income hitting a 12-year low, with debt mounting in the face of a global crop surplus. The RFS remains the single most promising tool available to revitalize rural growth and provide a key outlet for the multi-year crop surplus. To make that happen, it’s vital that policymakers reject attempts by a handful of refineries to pull the rug out from under America’s farmers by limiting the growth of biofuels.”
According to the new USDA forecast, net farm income is expected to decline by $4.3 billion (6.7 percent) from 2017 to $59.5 billion in 2018, the lowest level since 2006. Adjusted for inflation, income drops by $5.4 billion, leaving farmers with less income than any year since 2002. At the same time, farm debt is forecast to increase by $3.8 billion, and cash receipts for corn are forecast to fall by $1.9 billion, reflecting a decline in corn prices that has continued without relief since 2012.
“Voters trusted this administration with the power to launch a new wave of growth across rural America, and now is the time to deliver on that promise,” continued Skor. “We cannot leave rural economies in the U.S. to decline or stagnate as they did during the 1980s. We’re grateful to President Trump for his long-standing commitment to the RFS and urge him to stand strong against misguided attempts to undermine rural growth.”