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

Government programs addressing farm risk management have played a larger role in U.S. farm policy in recent years; in crop year 2013, producers enrolled more than 295 million acres in the Federal crop insurance program, and Government insurance subsidies exceeded $7 billion.

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.