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Diane Publishing Books
Debt Finance Landscape for U.S. Farming and Farm Businesses
J. Michael Harris (au)
Income and wealth for farm bus. have changed noticeably this decade. Debt levels have been rising, asset levels have outpaced debt despite a recent fall in land prices, and equity has more than doubled for farm bus. However, recent declines in farm income and falling land prices have raised concerns about the financial position of U.S. farms. Total farm sector debt reached a record $240 billion in 2008, a $26 billion increase over 2007. Debt is expected to decline to $234 billion in 2009. In 1986, nearly 60% of farms used debt financing. By 2007, the number had dropped to 31%. In essence, farm debt has become more concentrated in fewer, larger farm businesses. Lenders and farm operators indicate that real estate accounts for the largest use of farm debt.
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