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The Age Of Contract Agriculture: Consequences Of Concentration In Input Supply


  • Harl, Neil E.


Dramatic increases in concentration in the seed business, coupled with aggressive efforts to vertically integrate the agricultural sector and to institute contract-based production of commodities, have raised questions about the economic position of producers. Disparate positions of market power by highly concentrated input suppliers on the one hand (particularly seed suppliers because of control over germ plasm and a monopoly position over seed varieties through plant patents or plant variety protection certificates), and producers in nearly perfect competition on the other, suggest that the revenue division from production is likely to be redefined in favor of the party with the greater market and economic power. Possible solutions include aggressive antitrust oversight over further mergers and consolidations, assuring that more germ plasm is in the public domain, and collective action by producers in bargaining for inputs.

Suggested Citation

  • Harl, Neil E., 2000. "The Age Of Contract Agriculture: Consequences Of Concentration In Input Supply," Journal of Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia, vol. 18(1), March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jloagb:14701

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Harl, Neil E., 1998. "Contract Agriculture: Will It Tip the Balance?," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1341, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elliott, Matthew & James, Harvey Jr., 2013. "Nature Of The Farm: Revisited," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150726, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Schimmelpfennig, David E. & Pray, Carl E. & Brennan, Margaret F., 2004. "The impact of seed industry concentration on innovation: a study of US biotech market leaders," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 30(2), pages 157-167, March.
    3. Troskie, Dirk P. & Mathijs, Erik & Vink, Nick, 2000. "Characteristics of the agricultural sector of the 21st Century," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 39(4), December.
    4. Srinivasan, C. S., 2003. "Concentration in ownership of plant variety rights: some implications for developing countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(5-6), pages 519-546.
    5. Frasa, Stefanie & Carlberg, Jared & Hogan, Robert, 2015. "Use of Contracts by Prairie Agricultural Producers," Working Papers 232328, Structure and Performance of Agriculture and Agri-products Industry (SPAA).
    6. Ekanem, Enefiok P. & Muhammad, Safdar & Tegegne, Fisseha & Singh, Surendra P., 2004. "Consumer Biotechnology Food And Nutrition Information Sources: The Trust Factor," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 35(01), March.


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