As part of the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS), farm operators are asked about use of various practices to procure inputs and to market outputs. The 2008 ARMS asked farmers about their marketing practices (such as using production contracts or collaborative marketing) and input procurement (such as locking in prices or negotiating discounts) to elicit information about how approaches to management differ among farm types.
Among livestock farms, dairy producers more frequently reported use of input acquisition and marketing practices than other livestock type operations. Of the major row crop operations, corn producers reported the highest use. Farms that incorporated both input procurement and marketing practices into their businesses, reported higher amounts of debt in relation to asset values. These farms also had higher returns, greater operating margins, and greater amounts of income for debt coverage. (source: usda)