U.S. ag producers will likely remember this 2021 year is pretty good for their bank accounts. USDA's new estimate for 2021 farm income showing some strong numbers. Net farm income is at almost 117 billion, compared to about 95 billion a year ago. The highest in eight years. And it makes this the fifth year in a row of rising net farm incomes. That's Spyros Stephano. He runs the USDA's Economic Research Service, which is projecting total farm sector cash receipts this year will be almost 18 percent more than 2020, making for a net cash income of $133 billion, almost 15 percent more than a year ago. That profit number, though, might have been even more, except for a couple of things: direct government payments are forecast to decrease by 40 percent, and production expenses are forecast to increase about eight point three percent. And last year, you remember, a huge chunk of farm income came from direct government payments. Forty five point seven billion dollars worth out of a farm income total of almost $95 billion. USDA’s Chief Economist Seth Meyer says this year, those payments will only be about $27 billion. And so for every dollar you're losing from a direct government payment, you're getting more than a dollar from the marketplace and that's what's pushing farm income higher. And that's the way farmers like it. What they don't like, though, is a big run-up in farm production costs.