Corporate farming has attracted much attention, particularly with the movement of nonagricultural interests into the farm real estate market. Some believe that nonfarm corporations are taking advantage of tax s heI t ers an d ot her l· nvestment .lnce.ntlv es 1 an d are competl. ng un fa·lrl y with operators of smaller farming units. Others argue, with equal fervor, that corporate farming is not a threat and that it is compatible rather than competitive with "family farm" agriculture. In such an environment of considerable emotional rhetoric, a foundation of factual information is extremely important (1,7). The intent of this report is to provide a clearer perspective of corporate farming in Nebraska. Initially, the recent history of public policy in Nebraska regarding this issue is reviewed. In addition to specific measures regarding corporate farming, policy measures directed at family farming in general are considered. Then several data sources are used in examining the relative importance of corporate ownership and control of farmland in Nebraska. These sources include: (1) the U.S. Department of Commerce 1978 and earlier Censuses of Agriculture; (2) unpublished data from the 1979 Corporate Farm Reports filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State's office; and (3) unpublished data for Nebraska from the 1978 National Landownership Study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It should be noted that no single information source provides a comprehensive picture. Also, it is readily apparent that the various data sets do not totally correlate. ~1inor discrepancies occur between reported figures from these sources due to statistical estimation error, differences in definitions, and differences in survey procedure and design. However, this is not believed to be a major limiting factor in gaining a more realistic perspective of the corporate farming issue.


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