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Survey finds farmers investing in risk mitigation

Monday, April 6, 2009

Farmers are investing in risk mitigation strategies.
Farmers are investing in risk mitigation strategies.

A majority of US farmers have recently implemented, or plan on investing in, risk management or marketing strategies, including pre-selling crops or livestock and hedging future commodity sales and lock-in margins, according to the Rabobank Farm & Ranch Confidence Survey.

"Our survey demonstrates that US farmers and ranchers are tackling the current economic environment head on by making smart choices to help them weather the storm," said John Ryan, president and CEO for Rabo AgriFinance. "While many are hurting because of the economy, there is some optimism that the situation will improve next year."

Farmers and ranchers report they are seeing less severe impacts from input costs this year, with 67 percent saying costs are getting worse, compared to last year when 94 percent said costs are getting worse.

Less than 20 percent of farmers thought 2009 would be better than 2008, but 30 percent think 2010 will be better than 2009, Rabobank reported.

US farmers' intentions to purchase agricultural equipment are similar to 2008, the survey found. One in three farms expects to purchase farm equipment next year, but 43 percent they will look to buy used farm equipment.

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