According to University of Illinois economist Gary Schnitkey, net farm incomes in 2017 will be down from 2016 incomes unless grain prices respond to lower yields.
Of course, there will be variability in net incomes across farms, with the expectation being that farms in central and southern Illinois with dry weather and farms in northern Illinois with excess moisture could see more significant losses in income. Schnitkey expects crop insurance to aid farmers this year, but farmers will see losses before crop insurance payments occur.
Another cushion to the blow of a third consecutive year of below cost of production prices would be non-land costs trending downward. Schnitkey forecasts that non-land costs will decrease by $23 per acre for corn and $15 per acre for soybeans in 2017 over 2016.
Corn is actually projected to bring farm incomes up as well. The forecast puts corn income up $50 per acre while soybean income is projected down by $83 per acre. The average puts farm income down by $17 per acre.
Schnitkey, G. "Forecast of 2017 Net Income on Grain Farms in Illinois." farmdoc daily (7):148, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, August 15, 2017.