Today, a significant portion of livestock, poultry and other crops are being raised under production contracts, also known as grower agreements. Contracting has changed the shape of American agriculture. In the future, you may consider signing a contract to raise a crop under detailed specifications or to care for livestock or poultry owned by someone else.
USDA cannot tell you whether or not to sign a production contract. Each farmer and every farm business is different and there are many different types of contracts available. Making the important decision to enter a production contract should only be made after you consider how contracting may affect the future of your farm business.
This guide is designed to help you understand production contracts — and to help identify the questions you should consider as you decide whether contracting is right for you. At the end of this guide you will find a list of other sources of information about contracting, including the USDA website, which may help you decide whether contracting makes sense for you and your business.