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Abstract

The performance of over 500 North Dakota farms, 2000-2002, 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. Farm financial trends for the 1993-2002 period are also presented. Financial performance improved in 2002, except for the west region and livestock farms. Crop farm profit was much higher from strong prices and lower costs, although government payments declined sharply and some west and south central areas suffered drought. Median net farm income was $38,079 in 2002, $27,729 in 2001, and $45,085 in 2000. All 16 financial performance measures declined in 2001, except interest expense ratio, because of lower government subsidies, higher costs and continued low commodity prices. Performance in 2000 and 1999 was the highest since 1993 because of extraordinary government and crop insurance payments, record yields for some crops and improved beef cattle prices. Performance for the 1993-2002 period was poorest in 1997 and 1998 when over one-half of farms could not make scheduled term debt payments with the year's income.

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