Economics in farming

Economics in farming is a big issue. Many well off farmers have massive plots of land which often is the consolidated mass of what was once many farms supporting many farm families. Between the 1950s and 1970s the number of farms dropped by half and average farm size doubled (Living History (Links to an external site.)). This is for a variety of reasons but international economics played a big role as our world became more globalized and mass production of commodity crops became the goal.

The farms that are generating the most income are the ones taking advantage of economies of scale as well as the subsidies that come with growing commodity crops. These million dollar farms only make up 10% of the nation’s farms so finding an eligible bachelor from one of the 50,000 or so large-scale farms may be a daunting task (CNN Money (Links to an external site.)).

Also, as someone who grew up down wind and down stream from many of these large-scale farms and CAFO’s in the midwest, I have to question if this is the kind of modest, bucolic lifestyle written about in the Farmer’s Wives Magazine of 1922.

The topic of how to make a good living wage on a smaller-scale farm is a great topic to explore. There are more and more resources, grants and forums for people wanting to have the good, simple farm life without going into large-scale farming. There’s got to be a way to have a nice farm lifestyle and eat it too.


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