Farm Prices Continue to Drag in September, Compared to 2008

Prices received are down for livestock, oil-bearing crops, feed grains and more.

Published on: Oct 7, 2009
Prices received by farmers took a hit in September for many of the important commodities produced in the Carolina-Virginia region, according to the USDA report Agriculture Prices, released Sept. 29, 2009.

Overall prices nationally are down in the report in the category of All Crops. The September index was 144, compared to an index number of 100 based on the 1990-1992 crop year.

The overall prices category was down 2% from August and a whopping 17% lower than Sept. 2008. 

Decreases hit some important crops for Carolina-Virginia farmers in the report, including oil-bearing crops, food grains, feed grains and hay. The price of cotton went up for the month but is 21% below the price cotton brought during the same period last year.

Prices for meat animals at a September index of 103 is down 1% from last month and 17% lower then last year.

Hogs are very important in North Carolina and in much of the rest of the Carolina-Virginia region. Hogs prices came in at $37.80 per cwt. in September, up 40 cents from August but $14.80 lower than the same period a year ago.

During September the beef cattle price was $80.80 per cwt., up 20 cents from August but $13.40 lower than Sept. 2008. Beef cattle prices in Virginia were slightly higher during the month, however, up $1.30 per cwt to $75.60 in September, compared to $74.30 in August.

Prices also came in lower for milk, eggs, broilers and turkeys.

The silver lining is that prices paid by farmers as measured by The September Index of Prices Paid for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes and Farm Wage Rates, part of the same report, was unchanged from August but down 7.4% from September 2008. Those lowered input costs help offset the lower prices received.