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Abstract

For nearly 100 years w have aemi a trend tor the size ot t&l'lllS ~ increase. Sinoe 1920 we have seen a trend tor the number ot tatmS to decrease. Since the end ot World War II the rate ot both of' these trends has been markedq increased. And llinoe 1950 we have had a very sharp increase in the number ot large farms and a verr rapid decline in the number ot small farms. In recent years about 2s% ot the COJilllercial farms ot the United States have produced 75% ot the agricultural products - and have made nearq all ot the eamings trail agriculture. These are the farmers who are winning the race to stay in business, to be erJ.ccessf'ul. In order to meet the competition, these tarmers have increased the size ot their businesses. They have improved efticiency through the use of new tec,hnologies. And ti:ey have specialized in enterprises most advantageous to them. In doing this, these tanners have greatq increased their capital investments. The remaining 3/4 ot our farmers have found it impossible to keep pace with agricwltural progress. Their incomes from tanning have f'allen at a very rapid rate. Tlley are moving out ot tarm:ing a.nd into nontarm ocaapations at a verr rapid rate. Most of' them have substantial ┬Ěnontarm incomes. Hen.rly halt or them have nontarm incomes greater than their f'arm. income. Their total income per ca.pita is somewhat higher and their purchasing power about the same as it was in 1947.

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