Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)


Much interest has centered around farm size trends in Iowa. Unofficial estimates have often placed the number of farm consolidations at a high level. Interest in this problem has been especially great since the end of the war. On the one hand, many additional high-capacity machines have been added to Iowa farms, and more will be added due to the improved income situation during the war and emergency period. On the other hand there is a backlog of returning veterans and other persons who wish to start farming. Any material increase in the number of farm consolidations will prevent many new farmers from starting operations and will squeeze others out of the industry. Furthermore, adjustments in farm numbers and size may have effects on the community which extend beyond a diminished number of farm families.

This study has as an objective the analysis of farm size changes in Iowa. It is especially concerned with the extent and pattern of adjustment and the factors associated with these adjustments. Except where otherwise indicated, the term "size" will refer to the number of acres per farm. This is only a partial measure of scale of operations in agriculture and should be considered along with other inputs of resources for certain types of analyses. Yet, when the consideration is the number of farms which can exist at anyone time, the number of acres per farm is the core of the whole problem.



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