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Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)

Abstract

Surplus commodity supplies and capacity have characterized American agriculture for the last 35 years. Attempts to restrain this growing capacity and to dampen its effect on farm income have been reflected in price-support programs and acreage-diversion policies. Acreage diversion has been applied largely over all regions. Consequently, interregional shifts in land use have not kept pace with changes in the comparative advantage of different regions resulting from differential rates of change in technology, transportation costs, population growth and demand.

This study has been made to help determine the magnitude of interregional shifts in grain production and land use implied for the future under specified conditions of technological improvement and population or demand growth. It also is directed towards measurement of potential surplus capacity of American agriculture in the decade ahead. Finally, the analysis projects conditions of interregional competition in crop production under assumptions allowing increased exports, further development of the St. Lawrence Seaway, alternative rates of technological improvement in various agricultural regions and an advance in the technology of southern agriculture to the level of that in other regions of the nation.

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