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Farm profits to decline 27% from record amid waning crop boom

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WASHINGTON — A waning boom in U.S. crop prices will cut annual farm profits 27 percent this year from a record, potentially denting demand for Deere & Co. tractors and Monsanto chemicals, the government said.

Agricultural net income will be $95.8 billion, down from a revised $130.5 billion last year, the Department of Agriculture said Tuesday in its first 2014 forecast. Income for major crops including corn, soybeans and wheat will be $189.4 billion, down 12 percent, while all expenses for feed, chemicals and other items will be $348.2 billion, down 11 percent.

Flat demand for corn to make ethanol and fewer exports to China may halt gains in farmland values after a 37 percent jump since 2009, leaving farmers with less to invest.

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