Feb 13 - United States Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has issued the following statement about the 2013 farm income forecast from USDA's Economic Research Service:
"Today's forecast for the strongest net farm income in four decades is another positive testament to the resilience and productivity of U.S. farmers and ranchers. American agriculture continues to endure an historic drought with tremendous resolve, and last year was an important reminder of the need for a strong safety net. The commitment of American producers to embrace innovation and adapt to new challenges has helped fuel growth for American agriculture over the past five years. I am also heartened that our farmers’ keen business sense is continuing the recent trend of strong farm finances, with farm equity set to reach another record high in 2013. In the past year, President Obama and I have ensured that USDA carried out every possible measure to support farmers and ranchers in a tough, uncertain time. We know that today’s positive economic forecast is no signal to let up, especially with regard to providing smart and defensible assistance for America’s dairy and livestock producers who today do not have access to a viable safety net. To help all farmers and ranchers continue their efforts in the years ahead, and to ensure the certainty of a strong safety net, it is critical that Congress act on a multiyear, comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible."