Study finds record 2007 North Dakota Farm Income | TheFencePost.com

Study finds record 2007 North Dakota Farm Income

James McPherson
AP Newsfinder

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) ” With high yields and record income, last year was one many North Dakota farmers could only dream about, a farm management specialist says.

“It was a phenomenal year, and it may be the best year a farmer will have in his career,” said Andy Swenson, a farm management specialist with the North Dakota State University Extension Service. “Farm income was three to four times more than the average.”

Swenson said the average net income of farms enrolled in the North Dakota Farm Business Management Program was $192,000 last year, compared with a $54,800 average in 2006 and a $61,600 average over the previous five years.

The statewide average was based on 527 farms enrolled in a farm management program, offered through schools throughout the state.

Farmers who got most of their income from crops were more successful than cattle farmers, Swenson said. Crop farms averaged $252,000 in net farm income on about 2,200 crop acres per farm, while beef farms averaged less that $42,000.

“It was a dichotomy between crop and livestock guys last year,” Swenson.

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Farms with an income from both beef and crop sales averaged $138,000, the study said.

Winter wheat and dry edible beans set yield records last year, while soy beans, corn, barley, sunflowers and spring wheat were at near-record levels, Swenson said.

Strong farm income also is expected this year with rising crop prices, Swenson said. But yields could be down, with the cool, dry weather at the beginning of the growing season, he said.

“My guess is that it will be a very good year ” it might be asking a little much to match last year, but it will be better than average,” Swenson said.