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As land represents more than half of the investment in agriculture in the United States, it follows that the nature of its ownership is related to the public interest. Our national supplies of food and fiber depend upon the output of the land. Title to it as he wishes. He may let it lie idle or exploit it. Also, the rights of ownership it confers upon the owner the right to use he may cultivate it; he may conserve it or provide the basis for the sharing of its returns. Data covering the ownership of farms by operators are available from the Censuses of Agriculture as far back as 1880. But the first major study of the ownership of rented farm lands was made in 1925.1 A much more inclusive study of owne rship, for 1945, was conducted by one of the authors of the following paper and an associate.2 In the following article, data on major types of owners in 1945 and in 1950 are compared to show the changes that occurred in the 5-year interim. The paper is based on a cooperative project of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, and the Bureau of the Census.


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