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Unstable farm prices can spur farmers' interest in the various forms of forward selling. Forward selling, which involves selling crops or livestock in advance of delivery, enables farmers to reduce the risk that the price they get for their output might not cover the costs of their inputs and to assure outlets for highly specialized or perishable products. Among the various forms of forward selling are cash forward contracts, futures contracts, and commodity options. This report describes different types of forward contracts, the factors a farmer should consider, and the major pitfalls involved.


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