Minnesota farms in 2018 had the lowest median income for at least 23 years — as far back as the U-of-M has tracked that data — and researchers say it likely was the worst year since the early 1980s. Over-production and trade issues have hit dairy farmers especially hard, causing many to sell their herds. Low profits continued for beef producers, and pork producers also had a tough 2018, with average income less than a third of the year before. U-of-M researchers say crop producers also struggled with weather, prices and trade issues. Median income was up slightly from 2017 but still at historically low levels. Some farms did well in 2018, but U-of-M analysts say it takes outstanding management in all phases of the operation, good timing, and maybe a little luck.
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