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Specialized wheat farms—those with at least 50 percent of their production from wheat and with at least $40,000 in total production—fared worse in 1985 than other specialized crop farms. Specialized wheat farms had the lowest returns margin and return on assets of four grain specialties—wheat, corn, rice, and other small grains. Wheat farmers also relied more on off-farm income than other specialized grain farmers. The largest specialized wheat farms, those with production of $250,000 or more, had the best returns by all measures in 1985. Specialized wheat farms in the North Central and South Central regions were about equally strong in 1985. Those in the Northwest were the weakest because of their high cost structures and heavy debt burdens.


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