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Abstract

Metropolitan agriculture is not homogeneous. This paper delves beneath metropolitan county averages using data on individual farms in the Northeast classified into three statistically distinct types. A small group of adaptive farms profit from intensive production on smaller acreage to accommodate themselves to the urban environment. Traditional farms have increased costs and pressures on their more extensive operations without compensating increases in revenue from better-adapted enterprises. A large group of recreational farms subsidize small-farm activities from nonfarm income. Operating characteristics of each farm type are presented and their importance to metropolitan agriculture is assessed. Implications for preserving farming and farmland in the Northeast are drawn.

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