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Minnesota farm income ticks upward in 2019; uncertainty ahead

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (04/02/20) — Minnesota farmers continued to struggle with low profitability in 2019. Median net farm income was up slightly from the previous year at $36,211, but was still historically low.

Each of the past five years has fallen in the bottom third of historical records tracked by University of Minnesota Extension and the Agricultural Centers of Excellence within Minnesota State when adjusted for inflation. 

“Farming as a business is far from profitable,” said Keith Olander of the Minnesota State Northern Agricultural Center of Excellence. “Minnesota farmers are in need of a good year.”  

Last year, 28 percent of farms lost money; 45 percent lost working capital; and 46 percent did not earn enough to cover scheduled debt payments.

“The average producer did a little better, but inside the numbers there was a lot of diversity,” said Dale Nordquist of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Farm Financial Management. “More than in most years, earnings depended on where…
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