Financial stress in Iowa farms: 2014–2016
Iowa farm financial conditions have deteriorated since 2012, but average indicators of liquidity and solvency remain close to their long-term levels. However, average financial measures mask the variability across farms. This article tracks the evolution of financial stress in Iowa farms using a panel of financial statements for 273 farms collected by the Iowa Farm Business Association (IFBA). The share of financially stressed farms (vulnerable liquidity or solvency ratings) increased from 38 percent in December 2014 to 47 percent in December 2016. On average, farms lost $180 per acre of working capital over that period, but farms with vulnerable liquidity ratings lost almost twice that amount. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach makes available a number of resources free of charge to help farmers with their farm financial planning.