Farmers got some good news in February; prices are on the rise. The All Farm Products Index of Prices Received by Farmers rose 3 points or 2.4%, in February, compared to the month before. Even better, the Index was up 14 points, or 12%, from February 2006.
The report, released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, came out on March 29.
The Crop Index was up 6 points in February, or 4.6%, compared to the month before and the Livestock Index increased by 3 points, or 2.6%.
Included in that increase were higher prices of a number of crops important to the Carolinas-Virginias region, including broilers, soybeans and hogs.
The price indexes are standards based on rating 1990-1992 prices at 100 points. When prices are said to be up or down by some number of points, they are being measured against prices farmers received for their products in 1990-1992.
Prices paid by farmers including commodities and services, interest, taxes and farm wage rates were also up in February, although not as much as prices. The index measuring those costs was up 1 point, or 0.7%, compared to January and up 6 points or 4.1% above February 2006.
Some of the higher prices farmers had to pay in February were for LP gas, fertilizers and livestock feed grains. Some costs were lower for farmers but the higher prices more than offset lower prices. Farmers paid less for feed concentrates, diesel fuel, herbicides and tractors in February.
Many Carolina and Virginia farmers base their operations on cotton and the news was not good for cotton prices in February. The February index ranked cotton prices 1.2% lower than in January. The price for cotton was 48.9 cents, which is unchanged from last year. With many other crop prices moving higher, the unchanged cotton price would seem to indicate a sluggish cotton market.
The price for hogs in February was $46.60 per cwt, up $3.90 from January. That is up $4 compared to one year ago.
The price for beef cattle was $85.80 per cwt. That was up $1.50 per cwt. compared to one month ago. It was $6.60 lower than February 2006, however.
The price for fluid grade milk was up 20 cents per cwt. in February, compared to the previous month. Manufacturing grade milk was up 50 cents per cwt, for the period.
Broilers and turkeys are two of the most important crops in the Carolinas. February prices for broilers was 47 cents per pound, up 4 cents from January. That price is also up 9 cents compared to a year ago. The turkey price in February was 43.2 cents per pound, up 2.4 cents from January. That is up 3.6 cents from February 2006.
For a full report on the February Price Index, visit usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1002