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Abstract

The financial condition of most farmers and ranchers continued improving in 1987. Nominal net farm income (profitability) reached a record high of $45 billion due to relatively stable farm production expenses, a 45-percent rise in Government payments to farmers and ranchers, and a modest rise in farm product sales. Real net farm income (adjusted for inflation), at $38 billion, reached the highest level since the mid-1970's and was on par with that of the 1950's and 1960's. Higher land values, representing 70 percent of farm assets, and lower debt boosted owner equity from $537 billion to $571 billion, reversing the 6-year decline and helping to improve income and cash flow.

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