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In the Long Run: Markets, Policies, and Weather Contribute to Disparities in Value of Crop and Livestock Production

During the 1970s, the value of production (farm price times quantity produced) for U.S. crops and livestock tended to move in sync, with peaks in 1973 for livestock and in 1974 for crops. In the 1980s, Payment-In-Kind and acreage reduction programs, along with adverse weather, combined to reduce crop production. Economic growth in many developing countries in the mid-1990s led to greater demand for U.S. crops and a surge in crop prices. The recent spike in the value of crop production reflects higher prices due to poor weather in major producing areas and use of crops in biofuels production.

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