Business: FARM EARNINGS UP, DEBT DOWN

U.S. farmers, reported the Department of Agriculture, paid off $467 million of their mortgage debt last year. This left their total mortgage debt at $5.6 billion, lowest figure in 27 years, 48% under 1923's peak. Few farmers have forgotten their mad scramble for more land at any price during World War I, followed by the collapse of the farm boom in 1922. When the topheavy mortgage structure crashed during the Depression, 85,000 farmers were wiped out by foreclosure. Now land values are creeping upward again as farm income soars to an alltime high. But the farmers will be on solid postwar...

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