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Article
Publication date: 24 November 2017

Sarah Anne Stutzman

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of changes in farm economic conditions and macroeconomic trends on US farm capital expenditures between 1996 and 2013.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of changes in farm economic conditions and macroeconomic trends on US farm capital expenditures between 1996 and 2013.

Design/methodology/approach

A synthetic panel is constructed from Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) data. A dynamic system GMM regression model is estimated for farms as a whole and separately within farm typology categories. The use of farm typologies allows for comparison of the relative magnitudes of these estimates across farms by farm sales level and the operator’s primary occupation.

Findings

Changes in gross farm income levels, tax depreciation rates, and interest rates have a significant impact on crop farm investment, while changes in output prices, net cash farm income levels, tax depreciation rates, and farm specialization levels have significant impacts on livestock farm capital investment. The relative significance and magnitudes of these impacts differ within farm typologies. Significant differences include a greater responsiveness to change in tax policy variables for residential crop farms, greater responsiveness to changes in output prices and debt to asset ratios for intermediate livestock farms, and larger changes in commercial crop and livestock farm investment given equivalent changes in farm sales or the returns to investment.

Research limitations/implications

These findings are of interest to agricultural economists when constructing farm investment models and employing pseudo panel methods, to those in the agricultural equipment and manufacturing sector when constructing models to manage inventories and plan for production needs across regions and over time, to those involved in drafting tax policy and evaluating the potential impacts of tax changes on agricultural investment, and for those in the agricultural lending sector when designing and executing agricultural capital lending programs.

Originality/value

This study uniquely identifies differences in the level of investment and the magnitude of investment responsiveness to changes in farm economic conditions and macroeconomic trends given differences in income levels and primary operator occupation. In addition, this study is one of the few which utilizes ARMS data to study farm capital investment. Utilizing ARMS data provides a rich panel data set, covering producers across many different crop production types and regions. Finally, employing pseudo panel construction methods contributes to efforts to effectively employ cross-sectional data and dynamic models to study farm behavior across time.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 78 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

James M Williamson and Sarah Stutzman

– The purpose of this paper is to estimate the impact of Internal Revenue Code cost recovery provisions – Section 179 and “bonus depreciation” – on farm capital investment.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to estimate the impact of Internal Revenue Code cost recovery provisions – Section 179 and “bonus depreciation” – on farm capital investment.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors construct a synthetic panel of data consisting of cohorts of similar farms based on state and production specialization using the USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey for years 1996-2012. Employing panel data methods, the authors are able to control for time-invariant fixed effects, as well as the effects of past investment on current investment.

Findings

The authors estimate statistically significant investment demand elasticities with respect to the Section 179 expensing deduction of between 0.28 and 0.50. A change in bonus depreciation, on average, had little impact on capital investment.

Practical implications

The estimates suggest there is a modest effect of the cost recovery provisions on investment overall, but a stronger effect on farms that have more than $10,000 in gross cash farm income. There are other implications for the agricultural sector: the provisions may encourage technology adoption with its associated benefits, such as reduced cost of production and improved conservation practices. On the other hand, the policy could contribute to the growing concentration in production as large commercial farms expand their operated acreage to take advantage of increasingly efficient physical capital.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first research to use a nationally representative dataset to estimate to impact of Section 179 and “bonus depreciation” on farm investment. The findings provide evidence of the provisions’ impact on farm capital purchases.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 76 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Sarah S. List, Jane Warland and Colleen Smith

With less time spent on campus, students are increasingly forming peer friendship and study groups either face to face or online. Communities of practice (CoP) with…

Abstract

Purpose

With less time spent on campus, students are increasingly forming peer friendship and study groups either face to face or online. Communities of practice (CoP) with academic support in the wings could benefit students, but little is known in the about their use in the undergraduate space, or how best they may be structured and facilitated (Andrew et al., 2008). The purpose of this paper is to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

An online CoP was created in partnership with undergraduate bachelor of midwifery students at the University of South Australia using an action research model. This provided an ongoing ability to continuously plan, act, observe and evaluate all aspects of the community created, so that adjustments could be made during the two cycles of the study.

Findings

The time paucity of the cohort impacted on their ability to participate fully as partners in the project, and in the community itself. The Facebook community received more visitation than the Weebly community. The student panel reported that despite the online CoP fitting better with their schedules, they would prefer more opportunities to interact face to face with their peers.

Research limitations/implications

Students who spend limited time on campus may prefer more real life social contact and support, despite the convenience of an online community. A larger cohort, drawing from a non-professional degree would have allowed greater membership and community participation for a prospective study such as this.

Practical implications

Remote study is a growing phenomenon, and students need to feel socially connected and supported to remain enroled and engaged.

Social implications

There has been much discussion around the amount of time individuals spend online, and whether support groups formed by students on social media support student learning, or encourage unprofessional behaviours without academic support present.

Originality/value

This study reports that online communities are not always a logical solution to time poor students, and they may prefer face to face interactions to build their social and professional relationship.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

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