In January, USDA once again lowered its 2013-14 outlook for farm cash receipts. The ag agency is now expecting cash receipts to decline by 14% in the year ahead. This is down from a 13% drop USDA projected in December.

It appears that North American ag equipment dealers are following in USDA’s path as dealers are forecasting a 4% decline in machinery sales for 2014, which is down from the 1% decline expected in the previous month. These figures come from Ag Equipment Intelligence’s January “Dealers Sentiment’s & Business Conditions Update” report released to subscribers last week.

AEI’s Dealer Optimism Index, which measures sentiment among dealers compared to the prior month, once again declined in December. A net 30% of dealers reported a less optimistic outlook for the year (9% more optimistic; 52% same; 39% less optimistic). This is compared to a net 27% of dealers who reported a less optimistic outlook in November.