Farm Prices, Myth and Reality

Farm Prices, Myth and Reality

Farm Prices, Myth and Reality

Farm Prices, Myth and Reality

Excerpt

This book deals with the price-income problems of commercial agriculture in the United States. The number of commercial farms in the United States has been declining in recent years, but in absolute terms the number of such farms remains large. In 1954 there were close to three million farms in the United States, selling products valued at $1000 or more per year. And the price-income problems of this major grouping of farms and farmers has not diminished in recent years.

Lauren Soth, in his interesting little book Farm Trouble, contends that one of the fundamental problems of American agriculture is to be found in the one third of American farm families who live in poverty even during boom times. Perhaps he is right; perhaps this third, and not commercial farmers, constitute the basic problem of American agriculture (although there is considerable overlapping of the two groups). And, of course, there are other important problems that could be discussed: the social adjustments of the millions of rural people flocking to the cities, world agricultural developments, and so on. I do not contend that the price-income problems of commercial farmers are the most critical in present-day society. But it is my thesis that these price-income problems are nagging and continuing. Further, certain structural changes within modern society are aggravating and accentuating these problems. Thus, it is the purpose of this book to bring the best in modern analysis -- information, economic logic, and social theory -- to bear on the price-income problems of commercial agriculture.

Although many new estimates and descriptive measures are presented in the pages that follow, no new concepts, or theories, are developed in . . .

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