The preliminary All Farm Products Index got a lift in March, posting numbers 4.4% higher than the previous month. The Crop Index was up 5.4% in March and the Livestock Index was up 4.1%.
Farmers nationwide received higher prices for eggs and cattle and lower prices for milk and soybeans. All those indicators from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service are significant indices for farmer profitability in the Carolina-Virginia region.
Perhaps more importantly, over the last year the preliminary All Farm Products Index is up 12% and the Food Commodities Index is up 17%, compared to March 2009.
Here are how some key crops in the Carolina-Virginia farming region fared in the latest NASS release:
• Cotton in the March report was down 1.9% from the previous month but a significant 57% above the tally for the same period in 2009.
• Food grains were 0.6% below the February report and 15% below the number posted in March 2009. The all wheat price was $4.63 per bu. in the latest report, down 10 cents from February and $1.08 below March 2009.
• Oil-bearing crops were down 3% from February and were 0.6% lower than in March 2009. The soybean price was $9.16 per bu. in the latest report, 25 cents below February, 2010, but 4 cents above the March 2009 price.
• In March the hog price posted was $52.80 per cwt., up $4 from February and $8.90 higher than the price a year ago.
• The March beef cattle price of $88.80 per cwt. was $3.30 higher than the previous month and $9.70 higher than March 2009.
• The March broiler price at 49.0 cents per pound was 2 cents above the mark set a month earlier in February and 4 cents above the price set in March 2009.
• The March turkey price was 52.2 cents per pound, up 3.1 cents from February and up 5.1 cents from March 2009.
See the complete report at usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/AgriPric/AgriPric-03-30-2010.txt