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Tremendous advances in technology have enabled farmers in the United States to achieve continued increases in output per unit of input for several decades. The technological revolution of agriculture is a well known phenomenon. Mechanization, improved varieties, modern chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and new production methods have all contributed to increases in production per acre, per animal and per m^an hour of labor. This technological revolution has brought about several significant changes in the structure of agriculture. The substitution of physical capital for labor and the increased use of purchased inputs has created a need for substantially more funds both in the aggregate and on a per farm basis. Technology has also resulted in fewer and larger farming units. Over time, profit margins in agriculture have declined, so farmers have been increasingly dependent upon outside sources of funds.