AGRICULTURE: Drop in Parity

To most Americans farm parity* is a meaningless phrase. But to farmers it is the measure of how their part of the economy is doing in comparison with the rest of the country. Last week the parity ratio sagged to 80, as low as it has been since World War II ended, showing that farmers are still in plenty of trouble. The drop of two points from January came because farm prices slipped while industrial prices continued to rise. Compared with a year earlier, farmers in February still were being paid 3% more...

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