AGRICULTURE: The Squeeze

In the midst of the growing economic boom stands a lonely exception: the U.S. farmer. Farm income has been declining since the peak of February 1951; it dropped nearly 20% in the past four years, 10% in 1954 alone. Farm operating costs, however, remain at near-peak levels. At mid-March farm parity (the ratio between the prices that the farmer receives and those he pays out) dipped to 86, the lowest point since 1940 and 14% below the theoretical "fair" level.

The drop has stirred up a new battle in Washington over rigid v. flexible...

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