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Almost a sixth of all U.S. farming households suffered net income losses in 1984 while about a ninth had total incomes of more than $60,000. This disparity in a relatively high income year for the agricultural sector as a whole demonstrates the importance of income distribution in determining the overall financial well-being of farm operators and their households. Most of the average farming household's income earned on the farm came in the form of the rental value of farm dwellings, home consumption of farm-produced food, and wages and benefits operators paid themselves and their households. In 1984, about three-fifths of the total income earned by farming households came from off-farm sources.


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