Financial Characteristics of North Dakota Farms 2006-2007
The performance of over 500 North Dakota farms, 2006-2007, is summarized using 16 financial measures. Farms are categorized by geographic region, farm type, farm size, gross cash sales, farm tenure, net farm income, debt-to-asset, and age of farmer to analyze relationships between financial performance and farm characteristics. Five-year averages, 2002-2006, and farm financial trends for the 1998-2007 period are also presented. In 2007, median and average acreage per farm was 2,000 and 2,478, respectively. Median and average cash farm revenue was $353,252 and $458,843, respectively. Over 70% of farms were crop farms and nearly one-third of farms had gross sales exceeding $500,000. Median age of farm operators was 47. Every financial measure for 2007 was much superior to in any other year for the 1998-2007 period. The highest median net farm income was $127,791 in 2007, followed by $49,181 in 2003. The lowest was $19,491 in 1998. The Red River Valley and crop farms typically had stronger profitability, solvency, and repayment capacity from 1998 to 2007 than other regions and farm types, respectively. Exceptions were 2007 when the central regions had the best regional performance and 2005 when the south central region and livestock farms had better performance. The 2007 and 2006 median net farm income for crop farms was $171,838 and $53,642, respectively, compared to only $25,531and $6,150 for livestock farms. Farms with sales less than $100,000 were over twice as likely to have debt-to-asset higher than 70 percent than were farms with sales greater than $500,000. Farms that own some crop land, but less than 40 percent were more likely to be crop farms, farm more acreage, have larger sales, and be more profitable. As expected, solvency and percent of crop land owned increased with farmer age. In 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2007 the rate of return on equity exceeded the rate of return on assets, which indicates that debt capital was employed profitably. Interest expense as a percent of gross revenue declined in 2007 because of a sharp increase in gross revenue, after increasing in 2005 and 2006 because of higher debt and interest rates.
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