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UC-Davis researchers dig into the WHY of farmer suicides

Living off the land is tough, a fact underscored by the much higher rate (3 1/2 times) of farmer suicides, compared to the general population. Researchers at the University of California-Davis wanted more specifics, so they dug into volumes of data from counties across the country, over a period of nearly two decades.

The conclusion: yes, economic conditions can contribute to farmer suicides, but so can certain weather conditions. We talk to two of the three authors on the research: Pierre Mérel and Richard Sexton are both agricultural economists. They spend some extra time laying out their findings, and how those might be used.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.