Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)


The existence of a problematic situation in American agriculture is widely recognized. By most standards, incomes of farmers are low in comparison with incomes in the nonfarm sector of the economy. The unfavorable income position of farmers has developed during a period of rapidly rising farm productivity. Efforts to improve farmers' incomes have centered on supporting farm product prices and controlling production. For a few relatively minor commodities, such as tobacco, production control has been restrictive enough to successfully support prices and producers' incomes without accumulating surpluses. For major commodities, such as wheat and feed grains, however, control programs have been less successful. Surpluses have accumulated, and price goals have not been met. Improved policies are needed for commodities where income and surplus problems persist.



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