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US farm debt: the role of ARMS

Brian Briggeman (), Steven R. Koenig and Charles Moss ()

Agricultural Finance Review, 2012, vol. 72, issue 2, 254-261

Abstract: Purpose - To identify periods of severe stress, and potentially take action to avoid or dampen their negative effects, lenders and policymakers need accurate and reliable data on US farm debt supply and credit needs. The purpose of this paper is to assess the current availability of information on US farm debt as well as its accuracy. Design/methodology/approach - A review of the farm debt information and survey methodology of the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). Findings - This manuscript examines several potential issues involving the debt and lender data within ARMS. First, the empirical results indicate that there is an informational break in ARMS beginning in 2000. Second, the paper presents evidence that the overall level of debt reported by USDA is not consistent with information reported by lenders for other regulatory sources. Finally, the paper proposes a modification of the debt question to improve the data collection. Originality/value - The paper offers an external review of farm debt information in ARMS.

Keywords: ARMS; Farm debt; Survey instrument; Farms; Agriculture; Debts (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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