Agriculture

Kansas farm incomes fell 13 percent in 2014

The drop in average farm income in 2014 reflected the worst wheat harvest in 25 years in Kansas.
The drop in average farm income in 2014 reflected the worst wheat harvest in 25 years in Kansas. Eagle file photo

Kansas net farm incomes fell 13 percent in 2014 from the year before, to an average of $122,190 per farm, according to a new analysis by the Kansas Farm Management Association, an organization based at Kansas State University.

The drop reflected the worst wheat harvest in 25 years and a steep drop in the price for summer crops, especially corn, in the second half of the year.

But the fate of farmers differed dramatically depending on the region and the product.

The drought fell on the state unevenly in recent years, which is reflected in the incomes of crop farmers. In 2013, it punished the west especially hard, and in 2014, it hit the central part relatively hard.

Last year, farmers in south-central Kansas, which includes the Wichita area, saw their net income fall by two-thirds, from $151,464 per farm in 2013 to $52,996 in 2014.

At the same time, farmers in northwest Kansas, who had a terrible year in 2013, saw their incomes rebound.

The one-two punch of drought and lower prices that punished most crop farmers was mitigated by a terrific year for cattle ranchers and dairies. Record high prices for beef and milk led to a very strong year for ranch incomes.

Ranches in Kansas saw their incomes nearly double from $92,612 in 2013 to $177,047 in 2014. And those farms with both crops and cattle also saw their incomes double, to $155,677. Dairy farm income rose from $74,268 in 2013 to $204,541 in 2014.

Reach Dan Voorhis at 316-268-6577 or dvoorhis@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @danvoorhis.

2014 Kansas farm incomes

Area

2014 net income per farm

Change from 2013

Northwest

$108,532

121.6%

Southwest

$56,101

-46.6%

North-central

$102,508

-25.5%

South-central

$52,996

-65%

Northeast

$149,476

-6.8%

Southeast

$183,899

13.3%

Statewide

$122,190

-12.9%

Source: Kansas Farm Management Association

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