Going Against the Grain

To cut surpluses, farmers agree to idle 82.3 million acres

For American farmers, more has become less. Record harvests of corn and wheat in 1981 and 1982 have created a glut of grain. The unsold carryover of last year's corn surplus alone is an estimated 3.4 billion bu. Even as supply ballooned, however, markets shrank. In 1982, a strong dollar and world recession caused a major decline in farm exports for the first time in 13 years. Farm debt has burgeoned, from $140.8 billion in 1979 to about $215 billion at the start of 1983,...

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