Background: Few studies have assessed the consequences of agricultural injury and none have done so comparing Caucasian and African-American farm owners and workers. Methods: 1244 farmers were enrolled and prospectively observed between 1994-1996 for farming-related injuries. Injured farmers provided information on the consequences of injuries. Results: One-hundred and thirty-one subjects reported a total of 140 injuries. The majority of injuries were classified as minor or moderate and required medical attention. African-American farm workers tended to have more severe injuries. Nearly all injured subjects experienced acute residual effects (e.g., pain when moving), while persistent effects occurred in about half of the injured subjects, the latter being more common among African-American workers. Lost work was a frequent nonmedical effect of the injury. African- American workers tended to be more likely to lose work and/or be hurt financially. Conclusions: The impact of agricultural injury is nontrivial, particularly for African-American farm workers. The provision of better medical care facilities for African-American farm workers may be a positive approach for reducing the impact of agricultural injuries in this population. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.