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Abstract

With farm income at record, or near record levels, the overall agricultural production sector has fared well. However, in the current economic climate, instability and volatility in certain agricultural input markets caused by the U.S. macro-economy has put increased pressure on some sub-sectors of the agricultural economy. This paper analyzes the probability of default for USDA Agriculture Resource Management Survey (ARMS) farm operator households over time using a synthetic credit rating model. The probability of default was estimated for each ARMS farm sampled. The farms are classified according to farm type, gross sales class and by region to assess the financial health of each sector, Results indicate that the financial sector at the end of 2010 was exceptionally strong, although there are still certain farms that are vulnerable.

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