Net farm income is forecast to be $63 billion in 2010, up $6.7 billion (11.8%) from 2009, USDA says. The 2010 forecast is $1.4 billion below the $64.5 billion, 10-year average but is the fifth-largest income figure earned in U.S. farming.

In 2010, economic conditions for livestock producers are expected to improve, while those for crop producers are expected to deteriorate slightly or stabilize. Total expenses are forecast to be little changed from 2009.

Meanwhile, USDA estimates average farm household income to be down in 2009, but up in 2010. Average family farm household income in 2009 is pegged at $76,258, down 3.2% from 2008 and 6.5% below the five-year average for 2004-08. However, average family farm household income is expected to be up by 5.9% in 2010, to $80,766.

The share of U.S. farms classified as family farms has changed little since 1996, ranging from 97.1%-98.3% of all farms.

See the report at www.ers.usda.gov/Features/FarmIncome/.