American Agriculture in the Twentieth Century: How It by Bruce L. Gardner

By Bruce L. Gardner

American agriculture within the 20th century has given the area one in every of its nice good fortune tales, a paradigm of productiveness and many. but the tale has its darkish facet, from the plight of the Okies within the Thirties to the farm predicament of the Eighties to modern matters approximately low crop costs and the impression of biotechnology. taking a look at U.S. farming over the last century, Bruce Gardner searches out causes for either the impressive development and the continual social difficulties that experience marked the background of yank agriculture. Gardner records either the commercial problems that experience faced farmers and the technological and financial adjustments that experience lifted them from relative poverty to financial parity with the nonfarm inhabitants. He presents a close research of the motives of those tendencies, with emphasis at the function of presidency motion. He experiences how commodity aid courses, pushed via interest-group politics, have spent 1000s of billions of bucks to little goal. still, Gardner concludes that via reconciling competing monetary pursuits whereas fostering productiveness progress and monetary integration of the farm and nonfarm economies, the final twentieth-century position of presidency in American agriculture within reason considered as a triumph of democracy. (20030101)

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The human health effects of pesticides, as used in the 1990s, on food consumers have not been established, although suspicions that remain have fostered expansion of “organic” foods certified to have been grown without use of pesticides or other chemicals. 7. Cotton was the most intensively treated major crop, with 10 pounds of active ingredient per treated acre in 1966– 1976; but through more careful management and improved chemicals the dosage had been reduced to an average of less than 2 pounds per acre by the end of the 1980s (Osteen 1993, p.

This theory is not just of academic interest. S. agriculture, citing the results of prior lawsuit-induced foreign labor shortages in sugar cane. “Today, virtually all Florida sugar cane is harvested by machine, resulting in dramatic increases in productivity, higher wages and more civilized working conditions for the remaining workers. ” The generality of in- Technology 19 19 duced-innovation explanations remains in question. For a skeptical historical discussion, see Olmstead and Rhode (1996).

Biases can easily be substantial, but there are two possible silver linings in the cloud. First, if the biases remain similar at all times, we may hope at least to detect accurately changes in the trend rate of MFP growth. But the periods of such structural changes are likely to occur at times when qualitymeasurement biases are also changing. Second, the problem with inputquality measurement is not that we will find productivity growth where none occurred, but rather that we will misplace the source of growth.

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