An Illinois farmer made so much money this year he made loan payments on one tractor a year in advance and exchanged some older ones for newer models.
An Iowa farmer upgraded his combine and also paid off debt, while an elderly Oregon farmer poured into retirement funds a bundle of his $2 million take from a well-timed sale of much of his turf and equipment.
While much of America worries about the possibility of a double-dip recession, such stories of prosperity are cropping up as US farmers enjoy their best run in decades, thanks to high prices for many crops, livestock and farmland and strong global demand for corn used in making ethanol.
Farm profits are expected to spike by 28 percent this year to $100.9 billion, and the amount of cash farms have available to pay bills also is expected to top $100 billion - the first time both measures have done so, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
All the while, crop sales are expected to pass the $200 billion mark for the first time in U.S. history, and double-digit increases are expected in livestock sales.
Image: In this photo taken October 31, 2011, central Illinois farmer Dale Hadden climbs onto a combine on the family farm near Jacksonville.
Text: Jim Suhr, Associated Press