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Abstract

In the early stages of debt restructuring in an economic downturn for farm and ranch taxpayers, the emphasis is generally on relatively minor adjustments, in part because the downturn could be reversed if commodity prices were to rise.1 As the downturn deepens, as it did in the 1980s,2 the steps taken by lenders often become more draconian and could lead to major steps to reduce the scale of operations or even to force the termination of the operation. One lesson learned in the 1980s was that debt restructuring may be in the best interests of both the borrower and the lender but the acceptance of debt restructuring is often delayed because of the belief that the downturn may end with better commodity prices because of adverse weather conditions for crop production. For livestock producers, economic recovery often relates to cyclic factors affecting the supply of livestock for slaughter.

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