USDA Agricultural Projections to 2022, released in February 2013, provide longrun projections for the farm sector for the next 10 years. These annual projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.
Important assumptions for the projections include the following:
- Global economic growth reflects steady gains.
- Increases in world population continue to slow. Growth in most developing countries remains above that in the rest of the world.
- Population gains in developing countries--along with higher incomes, increased urbanization, and expansion of the middle class--are particularly important for growth in global food demand.
- Continued global expansion of biofuels further adds to world demand for agricultural products.
Key results in the projections include the following:
- Prices for major crops decrease in the early years of the projections as global production responds to recent high prices.
- Total U.S. red meat and poultry production is projected to fall in 2013 in response to lower producer returns and drought in the Southern Plains of the United States over the past two years. Meat production then increases in response to improved returns and improved forage supplies.
- World economic growth and demand for biofuels combine to support longer run increases in consumption, trade, and prices for agricultural products.
- Following the near-term declines, prices for corn, wheat, oilseeds, and many other crops remain historically high.
- After declines from record levels projected in 2013, the values of U.S. agricultural exports and farm cash receipts rise through the rest of the decade. Production expenses also rise beyond 2015, but net farm income remains historically high.
- Retail food price increases average less than the overall rate of inflation in 2014-22, largely reflecting production increases in the livestock sector that limit meat price increases.