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Off-farm income is a permanent, significant component of total income for many farm households. In 1986, half of all farm households depended mainly on off-farm income for family living expenses, while two-fifths depended primarily on farm income. Less than a tenth of the households depended on both farm and off-farm income. Farm commodity programs are important in maintaining income levels for many farm households, but those that depend primarily on off-farm income probably receive greater benefits from policies designed to initiate and maintain growth in the overall economy. This report examines the relative importance of farm and off-farm sources of income by type of farm, farm size, region, and proximity to major metro employment centers.


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