August Farm Prices Take Sharp Drop

Print Email

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its preliminary report on August farm prices on Friday afternoon. The August all-products price index dropped by 12 points (6%) to 188 month-over-month, with the crop index down 7.4% and the livestock index down 1%. The preliminary all-products index is down 5% year-over-year. The index uses prices from 1990-1992 as its base value (100).

The USDA noted that increased sales of cattle, barley, and calves offset lower sales of wheat, corn, and soybeans.

Farm costs, measured by the prices paid index rose 1% month-over-month to 221, and that’s 5% higher than August of 2012. Higher prices for feeder cattle and LP gas, among other things, offset lower prices for nitrogen fertilizer, feed grains, and other fertilizers.

Prices received by farmers rose the most for commercial vegetables (up 13% from July) and fruits and nuts (up 1.6%). Oilseeds, cotton, feed grains and hay, and food grains were all lower month-over-month. Compared with August 2012, commercial vegetables prices are a whopping 30% higher than a year ago.

Meat prices are up 5.1% year-over-year, with hogs up about 13% and beef cattle up about 5.7%.