In August USDA estimated 2008 net cash income for U.S. farmers and ranchers at $101.1 billion. However things have changed a lot during the last three months. According to USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber, that number has been revised down by about $10 billion.
The revised net cash income is still a record at nearly $91 billion and cash receipts are significantly higher than last year.
"This would have been even larger of course if prices had been in the range that we saw during this summer," Glauber says.
However this year's cash expenses also set a record at $263 billion for 2008.
"Driven by a whole number of components including feed costs," Glauber says. "We think of high grain prices on the cash receipt side, but they're also a big component obviously in the livestock sector so they enter also in the ledger as an expense. High fuel costs; high input costs for things like fertilizer; all those contribute to a record high cash expense."