After earning record high incomes last year, even while dealing with an 11% hike in production expenses, the nation's farmers this year could see another increase in those expenses.  ERS head Spiro Stefanou said they expect a more modest increase of as much as 4% this year.  He added farmers may spend a little less this year on fuel, fertilizer and feed, but they'll have to shell out more for just about everything else including.


“Their livestock and poultry purchases those are expected to go up nearly 14% labor costs are going up as well just over 7%.”


He noted the biggest expected percentage increase will come thanks to an increase in interest rates.  However, Seth Meyer, USDA’s chief economist said coming off record high incomes in 2022.


“Folks should be in a pretty good position in general to maybe be able to minimize borrowing to some extent or narrow borrowing to some extent.” 


 Meyer added overall interest costs could climb 22% this year.


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