Uncertainty about prices, yields, government policies, and foreign markets means that risk management plays an important role in many farm business decisions.

Government programs have been reoriented towards addressing farm risk management in recent years. The largest of those programs, the federal crop insurance program, provided an average of just over $3 billion in premium subsidies to producers annually between 2010—2020.

ERS analyzes farm business risks and risk management strategies, as well as government programs that address farm risk management. Strategies investigated include:

  • Yield and revenue insurance,
  • Futures and options,
  • Contracting sales and purchases,
  • Enterprise diversification,
  • Debt management and credit availability, and
  • Off-farm employment.