According to the USDA's new 10-year projections, the farm sector is going to have a couple of tough years, but USDA analyst David Stallings says they will be followed by some very strong growth.
"We see a return to long-term growth in domestic demand for agricultural products and for trade until the end of our projections period in 2018," Stallings said. "I think we'll recover and see some good growth in exports, production and consumption."
For exports, Stallings expects lower volume and prices in 2009 and 2010, which means a decline in export values, but then sees several years of solid growth.
"Although we don't see it getting back to the 2008 values," Stallings said. "It was an extraordinary year and I think we should recognize that fact."
Net farm income last year was over $86 billion, it will be just under $76 billion this year. Exports last year were worth $115 billion, but are forecast to reach only $113 billion in 2018.
Stallings says that even though no records are expected to be broken in the next 10 years, we will still manage to maintain a trade surplus in agricultural trade.