ERIC Number: ED291947
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Regional Characteristics of U.S. Farms and Farmers in the 1980's. ERS Staff Report No. AGES880128.
Smith, Matthew G.; Hines, Fred
Farms and the people who live on them differ dramatically from one part of the United States to another. These differences are prominent both from one region to the next as well as between farms and people in the same region. The varying characteristics of agriculture and the farm population have helped shape regional experiences in the 1980s. In the Midwest and Northern Plains, heavy reliance on income from sales of government-supported crops, large numbers of financially vulnerable midsized farms, and fewer alternative sources of income have led to the most widespread farm financial distress and the most persistent calls for agricultural policy remedies. In other parts of the country, income problems among farm households are as often linked to low earnings in manufacturing as in agriculture. Still other parts of the farm population are rather affluent and unaffected by federal farm policies. The varying circumstances in which the farm population lives and works affect the likely impacts of agricultural and rural development policies. In some regions, farm policy remains highly significant to farm households and rural communities as a component of income and economic development. In others, farm people themselves are likely to be affected much more by policies directed to all residents than by policies specifically targeting the agricultural sector. (Author/KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Economic Research Service (USDA), Washington, DC. Agriculture and Rural Economics Div.