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Term paper on agriculture

"In appraising farm-nonfarm incomes such as these, we must remember that unemployment was heavy in urban areas between 1930 and 1940, and those, without income, are not averaged into the wage income of employed industrial workers. Thus, the average income position of nonfarm folks is not as favorable as data would indicate at a first glance. Further, data indicate a favorable trend as far as agriculture is concerned. Between 1940 and 1948, the average income of agricultural workers rose much more rapidly than did the wage income of industrial workers. In fact, if we put the two series into index number form with a 1910-14 base, the incomes of agricultural workers rise above those of industrial workers for the period 1945-48, indicating that the income position of farm people was more favorable in those years than even in that previous golden age of agriculture. But in 1949, the average income of agricultural workers turns down, as if to return to some lower peacetime level. In wartime, farm prices and incomes zoom upward, in peacetime they fall; such is the historical record and such would appear to be the outlook."

"The pattern of population growth has a second important effect upon agriculture. The net reproduction rates in industrial-urban areas are decidedly lower than those in farming and rural areas. Notestein and his associates call attention to this difference in the projected growth of the population in northern and Western Europe, which is industrialized, as against Eastern Europe, which is still largely agricultural. The National Resources Report indicates that a similar development has been under way in the United States. As a consequence of these rural-urban differences in net reproduction rates, the population increase still occurring in the United States and like countries has a kind of perverse effect on agriculture. While it adds somewhat to the demand for farm products, it also further burdens agriculture by adding very considerably to the excess supply of labor resources in agriculture."

"The extreme disparity in economic size and output of farms that has always characterized American agriculture is evident today. This in turn has required, and to a degree reflects, a great diversity in managerial talents and demands. These cannot readily be measured directly; we have not developed tools, or even well-defined concepts, to measure managerial ability and expertise. We necessarily rely on the outward evidences of the managerial function, such as size and complexity of the farm business, to indicate the nature of the personal characteristics of the farmer. Measurement of economic size of farms is neither simple nor easy. Acreage is a poor measure, because land differs in inherent productivity and in intensity of use -- from low producing native grazing land at one extreme, to highly productive, intensively used truck crop or orchard land at the other. Productivity per acre of the latter may be 100 or more times that of the former. Farms differ greatly in other characteristics as well. Classification is limited by availability of data also."

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