The performance of over 500 North Dakota farms, 2003-2004, is summarized using 16 financial measures. Farms are categorized by geographic region, farm type, farm size, gross cash sales, farm tenure, net farm income, debt-to-asset, and age of farmer to analyze relationships between financial performance and farm characteristics. Five year averages, 1999-2003, and farm financial trends for the 1995-2004 period are also presented. Year-to-year changes in median net farm income averaged nearly 40 percent from 1995 to 2004. Median net farm income fell slightly in 2004 to $44,912, after reaching a 10-year high, $49,181 in 2003. Financial performance was lowest in 1997 and 1998 when over one-half of farms could not make scheduled term debt payments. In 1999, 2000, 2003, and 2004 the rate of return on equity exceeded the rate of return on assets, which indicates that debt capital was employed profitably. The interest expense as a percent of gross revenue was 5.6 in 2003 and 2004, the lowest in the past 10 years. It had improved six consecutive years. From 1995 to 2004 the Red River Valley has had stronger profitability, solvency and repayment capacity measures than other regions. Crop farms from 1995-2004 have been larger, as measured by gross sales, and have had better solvency and profitability than livestock farms. Farms with sales less than $100,000 were twice as likely to have debt-to-asset higher than 70 percent than were farms with sales greater than $250,000. Farms that own some crop land, but less than 40 percent and are more likely to be crop farms, farm more acreage, and have larger sales, are typically the most profitable.

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Agribusiness & Applied Economics Report No. 568

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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