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Commodity Payments, Farm Business Survival, and Farm Size Growth

  • Key, Nigel D.
  • Roberts, Michael J.

In the last 25 years, U.S. crop farms have steadily declined in number and grown in average size, as production has shifted to larger operations. Larger farms tend to receive more commodity program payments because most payments are tied to a farm’s current or historical production, but whether payments have contributed to farm growth is uncertain. This study uses farm-level data from the census of agriculture to determine whether there is a statistical relationship between farm commodity program payments and greater concentration in production. The analysis indicates that, at the regional level, higher commodity program payments per acre are associated with subsequent farm growth. Also, higher payments per acre are associated with higher rates of farm survival and growth.

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Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Economic Research Report with number 55968.

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Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:55968
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  1. Mata, Jose & Portugal, Pedro & Guimaraes, Paulo, 1995. "The survival of new plants: Start-up conditions and post-entry evolution," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 459-481, December.
  2. Kimhi, Ayal & Bollman, Ray D., 1999. "Family farm dynamics in Canada and Israel: the case of farm exits," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 21(1), August.
  3. Evans, David S., 1986. "The Relationship Between Firm Growth, Size, and Age: Estimates for 100 Manufacturing Industries," Working Papers 86-33, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  4. Bates, Timothy, 1990. "Entrepreneur Human Capital Inputs and Small Business Longevity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 551-59, November.
  5. Nigel Key & Michael J. Roberts, 2006. "Government Payments and Farm Business Survival," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(2), pages 382-392.
  6. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-27, August.
  7. Lopez, Ramon E., 1984. "Estimating labor supply and production decisions of self-employed farm producers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 61-82.
  8. Ralph Bierlen & Allen M. Featherstone, 1998. "Fundamental q, Cash Flow, and Investment: Evidence from Farm Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 427-435, August.
  9. Michael J. Roberts & Barrett Kirwan & Jeffrey Hopkins, 2003. "The Incidence of Government Program Payments on Agricultural Land Rents: The Challenges of Identification," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(3), pages 762-769.
  10. Joseph A. Atwood & Myles J. Watts & Alan E. Baquet, 1996. "An Examination of the Effects of Price Supports and Federal Crop Insurance Upon the Economic Growth, Capital Structure, and Financial Survival of Wheat Growers in the Northern High Plains," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(1), pages 212-224.
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