USDA Economic News
USDA deputy chief economist Ward Preston.
"So the balance sheet does remain strong. If we look at it in terms of debt to asset ratio, the debt to asset ratio is estimated at 13 and a half percent and the debt to equity ratio is estimated at fifteen point six percent. So overall, for the farm sector, the likelihood of default remains relatively low despite the increases that we've seen in debt since 2012. Certainly nothing compared to what we saw during the farm crisis of the 1980s. But that's not to say that some individual farms are not facing stress. But as a sector, we haven't seen the indicators of severe financial stress.