The prices farmers received - called the All Farm Products Index of Prices Received by Farmers in December - from USDA may not actually be news, but does show prices declined 2.2% from November. The Crop Index dropped 3.1% in the same period, while the livestock index slipped just 0.6%. The report was released Monday afternoon.
And the year-over-year numbers are harsher. The report shows that All Farm Products Index is down 9.5% from December 2012.
Essentially prices farmers receive for all crops is sliding in year-over-year figures. For feedgrains, the price is down 35% from a year ago. The average price of corn slid to $4.31 per bushel, which is $2.56 per bushel lower than December 2012, the agency reports. The price of hay has slid to $168 per ton, down $21 from a year ago.
The news for soybeans is mixed. The latest report shows soybeans rose 30 cents from November, but is still $1.30 per bushel lower than December 2012.
On the livestock side, the news is a little better. The December index slid 0.6% from November, but is 13% above year-ago levels. However, prices for hogs and broilers are lower than last year. Hog prices - at $62.10/cwt. - are down $1.50 from November and 30 cents lower than a year ago. For beef cattle, the average price of $130/cwt. is unchanged from last month an $6 higher than a year ago.
For dairy producers, the December index rose 1.2% from a month ago, and is 5% higher than a year ago. The average price of a hundredweight of milk is $21.80.
The report also notes prices paid by farmers for commodities, services, interest, taxes and farm wage rates has slid about 1.8% from year-ago levels. At this time the income has fallen faster than the expense side of the ledger. As crop prices slide, farmers will be looking for cost-saving moves across the board.