23-11-2012 08:29 AM | USA

Drought no obstacle to record income for U.S. farms

Even after the worst drought in a half century shriveled crops from Ohio to Nebraska, U.S. farmers are having their most profitable year ever because of record- high prices and insurance claims.

Farmer income probably will jump 6.9 percent to $144 billion, exceeding the government's August estimate of $139.3 billion, said Neil Harl, an economist at Iowa State University. Parched fields that drove corn, soybean and wheat futures as much as 68 percent higher since mid-June mean insurance payouts may more than double to $28 billion, according to Doane Advisory Services, a farm and food-company researcher in St. Louis.
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