USDA price indices widely mixed on month

Farmers made a lot less while paying a little bit more in January.

The USDA’s index of prices received dropped nearly 10% from December 2022 as lower prices for milk, eggs, lettuce, and broccoli canceled out higher prices for corn, cattle, apples and oranges.

The dairy index for January 2023 was down 6.5% from December and 4.6% from January 2022, with an all milk price of $23.10 per hundredweight, a decline of $1.60 on the month and $1.10 on the year.

The index of prices paid gained nearly 1% on increases in interest rates, taxes, feeder cattle, and feeder pigs against decreases for hay & forages, nitrogen, diesel, and other machinery.

Year-to-year, the index of prices received was still 11% higher, but the index of prices paid was up 7%, reflecting both better returns for producers and inflation.

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