Chart 6 also indicates the size of the effect of rising unemployment rates on the DRCU. For example, in 2003, a one-percentage-point increase in the county-level unemployment rate corresponded to a six-percentage-point increase in a farmer's DRCU.
For an average farm household in a manufacturing county, the loss of an off-farm job would cause the household's DRCU to rise to 150 percent, the highest DRCU for all counties considered (Chart 7).
The analysis shows that if a large-farm household lost an off-farm job, the average DRCU for the household would rise only slightly above 50 percent (Chart 8).
As a result, even if small crop producers lost income from an off-farm job, the analysis shows that their average DRCU would rise to just 100 percent, indicating they would still be able to service their debt.
In fact, the household DRCU would rise to 150 percent, the highest DRCU for all counties considered in this analysis.
In each of the samples, the DRCU is about 70 percent; each of the five National Agricultural Statistics Service regions has roughly 20 percent of the observations; and farms with less than $250,000 in farm sales and farms with more than $1,000,000 farm sales represent about 50 percent and 15 percent of their sample, respectively.
The regression model uses the representative county data to analyze the relationship between a farm household's DRCU and county-level unemployment rates while controlling for county and farm characteristics.
(4) The term debt coverage and DRCU ratios do tend to move together over time.
(7) The farm DRCU also only accounts for taxes associated with farm income.
Moreover, farm households with DRCUs two standard deviations above the mean DRCU are deleted.
Since 1998, household DRCUs have consistently hovered around 65 percent.
During the past decade, farming operations with more than $1 million in sales consistently had farm DRCUs below 100 percent (Chart 4).