A new analysis shows total farm debt is near record levels and farm real estate debt is at an all-time high. Agricultural Economic Insights found that this week, total debt stands at $425 billion, just short of the 1981 peak of $440 billion. However, the annual increase from 2000 to 2020 has been achieved through the relatively consistent small increases in debt, as opposed to a rapid run-up.

Meanwhile, at $264 billion, real estate debt is well beyond any levels seen in history. Since 2000, real estate debt has grown at an average annual rate of 4% per year. This has caused real estate debt to more than double over that time period.

The analysis says at present, it would seem that the current levels are sustainable, but with little room for further growth, adding, that while it is quite likely that the sector will navigate through this territory with few problems, it also removes some of the room for error.

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