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AgLetter, No. 1883, December 1996
AgLetter: December 1996
Farm debt has been trending slowly upward so far in the 1990s, reversing a portion of the substantial contraction that occurred during the latter half of the 1980s. The annual rate of increase moved up to about 3 percent in the last two years and USDA analysts are projecting a comparable gain for 1996. Revised estimates show farm debt approximated $150.8 billion at the end of 1995. That marked an increase of less than 10 percent from the cyclical low of $137.9 billion at the end of 1989 and was more than 20 percent below the 1984 peak of $193.8 billion. A little over half ($79.3 billion) of the total was secured by farm real estate. The remaining so-called nonreal estate farm debt represents annual operating loans to farmers and intermediate-term loans to finance such things as machinery and equipment.
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