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Abstract

For sixty years farm numbers have declined as "larger farms" absorbed "smaller farms." Some people were comforted that most exiting farmers sell to neighbors who continue the farms. But the land resources were used differently. Farms became more specialized as they became larger. Larger amounts of nonfarm inputs were substituted for inputs provided by farmers. Thus, "farming "-the value added by farmers-declined. And recent projections of biotechnology developments suggest that the trend may accelerate. Technology is, in fact, the key force driving the shift of farm activities off of the farms. This relationship suggests that if this country wants to maintain farming , publicly funded research of technologies that enhance farmers' value-added activities must be increased. Else the 8O-year trend line of reduced farming activities will continue.

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