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Farm profitability varies widely among producers, but the reasons for those differences are not clear as it is generally not known if the same farms are in the higher profit categories every year. Characteristics of the individual producer also vary substantially. Farm size, crop yields, cost of production, debt structure, and land ownership are some of the traits which differ among farms. This study analyzed farm finance data from the North Dakota Farm and Ranch Business Management Program over the years 1996-2000 to determine if the characteristics of profitable farms were different from the characteristics of farms which were not as profitable. A secondary objective was to evaluate if farms remained in similar profit quartiles every year.


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