The USDA’s All Farm Prices Received Index declined by 5 points during August, with crop prices generally dropping more than those for livestock products, according to a new report. The agency uses 1990 to 1992 prices as a baseline of 100 percent, and the August index stood at 127 percent, 5 points or 3.8 percent lower than July.

The Crop Index is down 6 points or 3.9 percent while the Livestock Index decreased 3 points or 2.7 percent. Compared with one year ago, the index is down 29 points or 19 percent fromAugust 2008.  The Food Commodities Index, at 125, decreased 5 points or 3.8 percent from July and 28 points from August 2008.

Input prices are one bright spot for farmers, as the August Index of Prices Paid for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates seems to have stabilized. While the index stands at 177 percent of the 1990-92 average, it was unchanged from July and 14 points or 7.3 percent below August 2008. Lower prices in August for concentrates, mixed fertilizer, feed grains, and hay & forages offset higher prices for other machinery, diesel fuel, herbicides and LP gas.

For livestock and livestock products, the August index is at 109, 2.7 percent below last month and down 20 percent from August 2008. Compared with a year ago, prices are lower for milk, cattle, hogs, broilers, eggs, turkeys, and calves.

For meat animals specifically, the agency lists the August index at 105, down 1.9 percent from last month and 19 percent lower than last year. The August beef cattle price of $80.30 per hundredweight is down 80 cents from last month and $15.50 lower than August 2008. The August hog price, at $39.70 per hundredweight, is down $3.50 from July and $21.00 lower than a year ago. 

Read the full report.