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A farm’s economic well-being depends greatly on its tenure arrangements (ownership and rental of farm resources) and equity (proportion of assets owned debt free). Farms in the best financial condition are fully owned and debt free (usually established farms). Part-owner farms (operator owns part of the land, rents the rest, and owns all machinery and livestock) are also in good shape. The weakest farms are tenant-operated farms with little equity (usually beginning farmers) and full owner farms with 50-percent equity. The effects of size, wealth, income, and five different tenure-equity arrangements are analyzed here for 20 illustrative farms.


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