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Producers get Squeezed up the Farming Food Chain: A Theory of Crop Portfolio Composition and Land Use


  • Steven C. Blank


There are a number of seemingly contradictory trends in the structure of American agriculture. For example, total revenues from agriculture in the United States continue to increase nearly every year, yet the total acreage of land in farms continues to decrease. This article presents an explanation using portfolio theory that is consistent both with the trends and with rational behavior of individual producers. The results have implications for commodity markets, land prices, and, in the long run, for the economic viability of American production agriculture.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven C. Blank, 2001. "Producers get Squeezed up the Farming Food Chain: A Theory of Crop Portfolio Composition and Land Use," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 23(2), pages 404-422.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:revage:v:23:y:2001:i:2:p:404-422.

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    Cited by:

    1. O'Donoghue, Erik J. & Key, Nigel D. & Roberts, Michael J., 2005. "Does risk matter for farm businesses? The effect of crop insurance on production and diversification," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19397, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Steven C. Blank & Danny Klinefelter, 2012. "Keeping ARMS relevant: increasing its usability," Agricultural Finance Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 72(2), pages 222-232, July.
    3. Roche, M. & McQuinn, K., 2003. "Efficient allocation of land in a decoupled world," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n1190103, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    4. repec:spr:agfoec:v:5:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40100-017-0078-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Duval, Yann & Kastens, Terry L. & Featherstone, Allen M., 2002. "Financial Classification Of Farm Businesses Using Fuzzy Systems," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19596, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    6. Steven C. Blank, 2002. "A Portfolio Of Threats To American Agriculture," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(4), pages 381-393, October.
    7. Sethi, Suresh Andrew & Reimer, Matthew & Knapp, Gunnar, 2014. "Alaskan fishing community revenues and the stabilizing role of fishing portfolios," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 134-141.
    8. Sauer, Johannes & Finger, Robert, 2014. "Climate Risk Management Strategies in Agriculture – The Case of Flood Risk," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 172679, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Sanchirico, James N. & Smith, Martin D., 2003. "Trophic Portfolios In Marine Fisheries: A Step Towards Ecosystem Management," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22191, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    10. Streeter, Deborah H. & Bills, Nelson L., 2003. "Value-Added Ag-Based Economic Development: A Panacea or False Promise? Part One of a Two-Part Companion Series: What is Value-Added and How Do We Study It?," Working Papers 127189, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.

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