July 2023, Volume 29, Number 3
US net farm cash income is projected to be lower in 2023 than the $200 billion of 2022 due to higher production costs. However, the value of farm assets, 80 percent in farm land, rose to $4 trillion in 2023, putting farmers in a strong financial position.
The US Farm Bill is projected to cost $1.5 trillion over the next decade, including $1.2 trillion or 80 percent for food aid such as SNAP benefits and $10 billion in direct payments to farmers, down from a peak of $46 billion in 2020.
Dairy milk has become controversial as Americans consume less fluid milk and more butter and cheese. Up to 10 percent of fluid dairy milk is consumed in schools, where regulations require milk to be offered with school meals. Some schools want to offer plant and nut based alternative milks to 30 million K-12 students, while others want to ban flavored dairy milk, arguing that chocolate milk has too many added sugars.
The US Supreme Court continues to rein in administrative agencies, ruling in May 2023 that the Environmental Protection Agency can only regulate wetlands “with a continuous surface connection” to navigable waters. In 2022, the USSC limited the authority of the EPA to curb emissions from power plants.
The world had over 600 million farms in 2020, and is expected to have fewer than 300 million in 2100.
Rice is the staple food for three billion of the world’s eight billion people; 90 percent of the world’s rice is produced in Asia. The leading producers of rice are Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, and the leading exporter is India followed by Thailand and Vietnam.