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USDA Agricultural Projections to 2021

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This report provides projections for the agricultural sector through 2021. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices. The projections are based on specific assumptions about macroeconomic conditions, policy, weather, and international developments, with no domestic or external shocks to global agricultural markets. Provisions of current law are assumed to remain in effect through the projection period. The projections are one representative scenario for the agricultural sector for the next decade. The projections in this report were prepared during October through December 2011, reflecting a composite of model results and judgment-based analyses.

Prospects for the agricultural sector in the near term reflect market adjustments to the supplyand-demand conditions underlying record high prices for many farm commodities in recent years. In response, global agricultural production of most major crops increases in 2012. Total U.S. red meat and poultry production is projected to fall in 2012 and 2013 in response to reduced producer returns over much of the past several years. Meat production then increases in response to improved returns. Longrun developments for global agriculture reflect a return to steady world economic growth and continued demand for biofuels, which combine to support increases in consumption, trade, and prices. Thus, following near-term reductions from record levels reached in 2011, the values of U.S. agricultural exports and net farm income each rise over the rest of the decade. U.S. retail food price increases average less than the overall rate of inflation in 2013-21, largely reflecting livestock production increases that limit consumer meat price increases.