Seeds of Change: Hybrid Corn, Monopoly, and the Hunt for Superprofits
Hybrid corn is widely acknowledged to be the cornerstone of twentieth century breakthroughs in agricultural technology, an essential step toward achieving the "pushbutton cornucopia" to which modern agriculture aspires. This paper challenges this view by examining the social causes and consequences of technical change in corn production, and shows how the development and adoption of hybrid technologies has contributed to the perpetual crisis of corn farming, while sustaining the expansion of the seed corn industry.
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