The Department of Agriculture is projecting that 2015 will mark another down year for American farmers and ranchers with agricultural sector production projected to fall 9.2 percent to $427 billion. Contributing factors include increased global competition and a slowdown in demand from China. Net cash and net farm income reached all-time highs in 2013, but according to the USDA, both are forecast to decline for the second consecutive year with net cash income expected to fall by 27.7 percent and net farm income dropping by 38.2 percent. The latter percentage would be the largest single-year decline since 1983. Livestock receipts are projected to decrease by 12.0 percent ($25.4 billion) in 2015. The value of U.S. livestock production is also forecast to decline 12.3 percent (to $191.3 billion) as a large drop in receipts more than offset inventory expansion.
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