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USDA price indices fractionally lower in December

The USDA’s indices of prices received and paid by farmers were both down in December.

The USDA says the index of prices received was 0.4% lower than in November as losses in cattle, hogs, milk, and turkeys canceled out gains in corn, broilers, eggs, and onions.

The USDA’s dairy index for December 2023 was down 5.1% from November and 16% from December 2022, with an all milk price of $20.60 per hundredweight, $1.10 under the previous month and $3.90 below the year before.

The index of prices paid was down 0.5% on decreases in cost for feeder cattle, complete feeds, diesel, and gasoline against increases for feeder pigs, potash & phosphate, nitrogen, and LP gas.

Year-to-year, 2023 ended with an 18% drop from 2022 for prices received and 0.6% decline for prices paid, reflecting the losses experienced by many farmers and ranchers.

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