Economic Well Being

Information and analysis key pieces in ensuring farmers’ economic well-being

The mission of the Illinois Farm Bureau® is to improve the economic well-being of agriculture and enrich the quality of farm family life.

Accurate data and analysis are key to properly representing the financial health of Illinois agriculture. IFB regularly monitors multiple data sources and undertakes timely studies or analysis as needed.

In addition to working regularly with agricultural information experts from agencies, universities and other ag groups, IFB and its partners conduct or contract analyses to help assess markets and measure agriculture’s economic impact.


University of Illinois economists Gary Schnitkey and Krista Swanson used their Gardner Farm Income model to simulate Illinois farms’ financial performance over the next five years, through year 2023. Their model Central Illinois farm ws composed of 1,700 acres, 51% in soybeans and 49% in corn with 42% of the acres share-rented and 47% cash-rented at $274 per acre. 

For 2019, farm incomes were simulated with a 185 bushel per acre corn yield and a 55 bushel per acre soybean yield, a corn price of $4.50 and soybean price of $9.00.  Without any MFP payment, 2019 net income was (negative) -$17,508, which was $193,376 less than the $175,508 net income in 2018 for their model farm.   With MFP payments of $50 per acre being included, financial erosion of the model farm was reduced. However, even with MFP payments, farm incomes for 2019 were projected to be over $100,000 lower than 2018 incomes. The outcome of the Northern Illinois farm was more negative than the Central Illinois farm, due to lower yields than for the Central Illinois Farm and was projected to have serious declines in liquidity.  Given trend yield projections and current price projections, farms will have recurring losses in financial position over the next five years.”


Weekly Farm Economics, Gardner Policy Series

“MFP Impact on 2019 through 2023 Incomes and Financial Positions” by

Krista Swanson and Gary Schnitkey, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics

University of Illinois

July 23, 2019

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