USDA March ag price indices up on month, down on year

U.S. farmers made and paid a little bit more in March than February.

The USDA says the index of prices received by farmers was up 1.5% as gains by cattle, hogs, broilers, and lettuce against losses in wheat, market eggs, oranges, and strawberries.

The dairy index for March 2024 was 0.5% higher than in February, but 1.4% lower than in March 2023, with an all milk price of $20.70 per hundredweight, up $.10 on the month, but down $.30 on the year.

The index of prices paid rose 0.6% on increased costs for feeder cattle, feeder pigs, gasoline, and nitrogen canceled out decreases in hay and forages, complete feeds, LP gas, and concentrates.

Year to year, the index of prices received was down 4.8% while the index of prices paid was 1.1% lower, some farmers continuing to see profits limited by relatively high input prices.

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