I haven't had time to tackle all of it yet, but I will share a couple quotes and thoughts from the introduction:
- Basically, things changed around WWII (which has been discussed here a lot). Before that most Iowa farms were very diversified in crops and livestock and had multi-crop rotations in place. Those rotations included forages, something not seen these days.
- Between 1950 and 2004 corn and soybean yields have just about quadrupled. Way to go crop specialists! I assume that means that the amount of money the farmers are making is also increasing...
- But, that is not the case. First of all the number of Iowa farms during that same time period has dropped by more than 50% and the net income per farm (after inflation adjustment) was actually 9% lower in 2001 than it was in 1960. I'm not sure if that changes with $7.50 corn or not, but I'm guessing it doesn't because all the inputs have also jumped sky high.