Northeast Agricultural Producers Optimistic About the Year Ahead

5/7/2013

Farm Credit East released a report indicating Northeast farm, fishing and forestry producers are optimistic about their farm businesses going into 2013. This report was compiled from a survey the financial cooperative conducted that asked Northeast producers to provide insight into their 2012 business results and perspectives on the year ahead.

"I am excited about the optimism among farmers," said Bill Lipinski, Farm Credit East CEO. "Agriculture is an economic engine in the Northeast--with continuing support from agribusiness and farm-friendly public policies, it will continue to grow and create more jobs and economic activity."

A cross section of 174 Northeast producers responded to this survey. Key results included:

.  Over three-quarters of respondents indicated optimism for the future of their farming enterprise.
.  Northeast producers are growth-minded for 2013, with nearly 75 percent of respondents indicating intent to expand their operation in 2013.
.  The top three major business challenges Northeast producers anticipate in 2013 are financial volatility in income statements, changing/shrinking margins and availability of labor.

"In the Northeast, we have thousands of farm businesses that are an integral part of our communities," Lipinski continued. "This survey indicated that farm owners are concerned with the impact of government regulations and that we need to address the farm labor issue with a workable guest worker program."

In addition, survey respondents reported on their 2013 business plans and perspectives on consumer spending, interest rates and the farm real estate market going into 2013. Looking back at 2012, survey respondents reported on their business results and impact of weather on their farming operations.

This survey was conducted in March 2013. The survey was open to any farm, fishing and forestry producers operating within the six Northeast states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The survey was made available on Farm Credit East's website and social media sites. To view the full report of Farm Credit East's Pulse of Agriculture survey results, visit FarmCreditEast.com.