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Abstract

In recent farm policy debates, proposals for a whole-farm revenue safety net program have been put forward that could provide a farm-income safety net for a wide variety of farming activities. These proposals include income- stabilization accounts and whole-farm revenue insurance. Risk protection from income-stabilization accounts would depend on the reserves in individual accounts and the structure of program benefits. Experience with farm savings accounts in Canada and Australia suggests that lack of adequate account balances and buildup of balances beyond the level required for risk management can reduce program effectiveness. Whole-farm revenue insurance could overcome these problems since coverage would not depend on the farmer's ability to build an account balance and benefits would only be realized when the farmer suffers a drop in income. However, the complexity of factors affecting income variability raises questions about the feasibility of a whole-farm insurance plan.

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