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Report: Kansas farm income up amid government payments

BELLE PLAINE, Kan. | Propped up by government payments, net farm income in Kansas last year rose to an average of $110,380 per farm, a new report shows.

The Kansas Farm Management Association released this week its annual economic data based on the 970 agricultural operations that their economists advised on financial decisions.

Farm balance sheets were heavily subsidized by government payments with more than 72% of the income Kansas farmers received last year coming from the government, their figures show.

On average, each Kansas farm received more than $80,000 from the government last year. The biggest chunk came from the more than $60,000 per farm funneled through a federal program that aimed to help producers hurt by retaliatory tariffs in trade disputes.

AstraZeneca secures orders for virus vaccine under testing

LONDON | Drug maker AstraZeneca said Thursday it had secured its first agreements for 400 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine it is testing, bolstered by an investment from the U.S. vaccine agency.

The Anglo-Swedish company reported it had received more than $1 billion from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for the development, production and delivery of the vaccine, starting this fall.

The investment will accelerate the development and production of the vaccine, AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said.

Pandemic could push Macy’s to losses exceeding $1 billion

NEW YORK | Macy’s is warning that it could lose more than a $1 billion during its first quarter after the coronavirus pandemic paralyzed retail operations nationwide.

Sales, the New York department store said in a preliminary report Thursday, could plummet to around $3 billion, down 45% from the $5.5 billion in sales booked just a year ago.

The company said it likely would swing to a quarterly loss of between $905,000 and $1.1 billion.

30-year mortgage rate falls to 3.24%

WASHINGTON | Long-term U.S. mortgage rates eased this week in a housing market battered by the shutdown spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. Rates hovered near all-time lows as the benchmark 30-year home loan stayed below 3.30% for the fourth straight week.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan declined to 3.24% from 3.28% last week. A year ago, the rate stood at 4.06%.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 2.70% from 2.72% last week.

— From AP reports