Drop in Minnesota farm profitability similar to a decade ago

The average income of Minnesota farms fell more than 75 percent last year.

University of Minnesota Extension economist Pauline Van Nurden says analysis of 2,300 crop and livestock farms throughout the state showed median earnings of about $45,000 in 2023 compared to nearly $180,000 in 2022.

“That certainly had producers dipping into working capital reserves, had limited retained earnings, so just limited profitability overall.”

The median net income on crop farms dropped 80 percent, and low prices and high costs also affected many Minnesota livestock producers.

She tells Brownfield the plunge resembles 2013.

“In both situations, I think grain prices changed dramatically during that year and that lead to a lot of that profitability change.”

Van Nurden says dairy farm profits were down 73 percent from 2022 to 2023, and hog producers experienced the most challenging year on record losing an average of $30 per pig sold.

Beef was the bright spot as producers capitalized on record prices a year ago.

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