Farmers’ income doubled in 2010

Published 11:21 am Friday, April 8, 2011

Being a farmer paid off last year.

A new report says median net farm income among Minnesota crop farmers more than doubled in 2010, while livestock farmers became profitable again.

The joint report by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and the University of Minnesota says overall median net farm income was nearly $120,000 among about 2,500 Minnesota farms in 2010.

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That’s up more than $33,000 from 2009.

Randy Stevenson, who works at the Dexter elevator and is mayor of the town, isn’t surprised.

“When you’ve got $7 corn and $13 beans, it’s just about all-time highs,” Stevenson said of last year’s price per bushel. “The bottom line is (farmers are) still making a lot of money with the grain prices as high as they are.”

For crop farms, the median net income increased to more than $161,000, up from about $60,000 in 2009.

This year may not be as profitable, but Stevenson expects farmers to turn a profit despite increased input costs.

With corn priced between $5.50 and $6 a bushel, crop farmers should still turn a profit if they get to market.

“Farmers are doing very well,” Stevenson said. “That’s if they sold the crop.”

A major change was the return to profitability of Minnesota hog farms.

In 2010, they earned median profits of more than $250,000 compared with losses of $73,000 in 2009. The median dairy farm made a net income of under $58,000 in 2010 compared with just over $2,000 in 2009.

That change couldn’t come soon enough for some area farmers. Livestock farmers in the Adams area were able to turn a small profit last year, according to Jerry Van, manager of Northern Country Co-Op in Adams.

“The problem right now is the price of corn’s gone up so much and the price of milk and the price of pork hasn’t gone up as much to make as big of aprofit as they like,” Van said.

It was a better year last year than the past couple, according to Van.