For Illinois farmers, the good news is that farm incomes are projected to grow 6 percent nationally – to $120.6 billion. In addition to that projection having been revised downward, from a previous $128.2 billion, the bad news, says Tim O’Brien of Morgan Stanley in Peoria, is that the price of everything is going up.“Farmers are dealing with significantly higher production costs,” says O’Brien.
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“There’s their rent, their feed, their labor, and, particularly, their fertilizer costs have all gone up. So you couple that with projected commodity prices that are going to be lower, there’s going to be some squeeze on the farmers in the next couple of years.” O’Brien, who carries the titles of financial advisor and senior vice president with Morgan Stanley’s Global Wealth Management Division, says farming is a notoriously low-margin business.