Should We Save the Family Farm?

Should We Save the Family Farm?

The deep farm crisis of recent years has made the urban majority aware of anguish in the countryside, even if the world of modern farming—and even more of farm policy—is so remote that it is hard for outsiders to grasp. At the same time, people have become more vividly conscious of continuing hunger in a world glutted with food. Abundance can seem as daunting as scarcity, though far preferable.

Now, after spending nearly the entire past decade in the deepest slump since the Great Depression, the U.S. farm economy shows a few signs of recovery. Last year plummeting land prices started to level off, farm income was up (but half the increase came from government price and income supports), and debt declined from an earlier peak greater than that of Brazil and Mexico combined.

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