We use 2003 and 2004 ARMS data to analyze variations in contract duration among growers of broilers who hold production contracts. Most contracts cover just a single flock, but many extend for 1-2 years, and a significant minority of broiler contracts specify lengths of 5, 10, and even 15 years. We find that grower debt and production volume are inversely related to the choice of a short term (a year or less) contract, while lengthy prior experience with the contractor promotes short term contracts. Some contract terms appear to act as substitutes or complements to duration.
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