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An Analysis of the Financial Performance of Beginning Farmers

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This study examines the financial performance and stress experienced by beginning farmers in the U.S. Using the USDA’s ARMS data, probit models are estimated to study the personal and farm characteristics that affect whether or not the financial ratios fall into critical zones. The results show that older farmers and larger farms are less likely to experience financial stress while hobby farms and livestock farms are more likely to experience financial stress. The results for beginning farmers indicate fewer significant effects. These findings point out the characteristics that agricultural lenders need to consider when evaluating farmers’ loans.

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