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Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)

Abstract

This study is the third in a series dealing with interregional adjustments of agricultural production and land use.2 While prior studies dealt mainly with benchmark situations in 1954, the current study emphasizes interregional competition and surplus agricultural capacity estimated to exist in 1965. The emphasis is on interregional allocations of production for wheat, feed grains, cotton and soybeans and on the flow of products among consuming regions in a manner (a) to provide an optimal United States use of resources and (b) to mesh production exactly with consumption and export requirements. The analysis is made by several linear-programming models and solutions which include up to 962 equations and 2,682 real variables.

Studies dealing with the interregional adjustment of agricultural production are needed for several reasons. An important need is a better assessment of the nation's surplus producing capacity in order that long-run solutions might be provided for output, price and income problems. Long-run solutions generally would require adjustment of agriculture in line with the comparative advantage of the many individual producing regions. Some regions would remain in production of cotton, wheat, feed grains and soybeans (the crops included in this study); other regions would need to shift to less intensive uses, such as grazing and forestry. Research is needed to identify regions that might be expected to orient their resources in each of these directions. Educational, capital and income policies might then be directed accordingly.

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