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Full text of "United States census of agriculture: 1954"



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^POCITORY 



Vol. Ill - pt. 9 ch. VII 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 
IN THE UNITED STATES 

(A COOPERATIVE REPORT) 



Cash-Grain and Livestock 
Producers in the Corn Belt 




SPECIAL REPORTS 




1954 • 

Census 
Agriculture 



X 



LVL 



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U. S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 

BUREAU OF THE CENSUS AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE 

WASHINGTON - 1956 







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U. S. Department of Agriculture 

Ezra Taft Benson, SeerKiaryf 

Agricultural Research Service 

Byron T. Shaw, Adminisfrafor 

U. S. Department of Commerce 

Sinclair Weeks, Secretary 

Bureau of the Census 

Robert W. Burgess, Director 



»r: /u'lirifi' i 



United States 
Census 

Agriculture: 

1954 



Volume III 
SPECIAL REPORTS 

Part 9 

Farmers and Farm Production in the United States 

(A Cooperative Report) 



Chapter VII 

Cosh-Grain and Livestock 
Producers in the Corn Beit 



CHARACTERISTICS OF FARMERS and FARM PRODUCTION • 
PRINCIPAL TYPES OF FARMS • 






BUREAU OF THE CENSUS 
Robert W. Burgess, Director 

AGRICULTURE DIVISION 
Ray Hurley, Chief 
Warder B. Jenkins, Assistant Chief 



AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE 
Byron T. Shaw, Administrator 

FARM AND LAND MANAGEMENT RESEARCH 
Sherman E. Johnson, Director 

PRODUCTION ECONOMICS RESEARCH BRANCH 
Carl P. Heisic, Chief 



Boston Public Library 
Superintendent of Documents 

OCT 3 - 1957 






SUGGESTED IDENTIFICATION 

U. S. Bureau of the Census. U. S. Census of A^ricuhure: 1954. Vol. Ill, Special Reports 

Part 9, Farmers and Farm Production in the United States. 

Chapter VII, Cash-Grain and Livestock Producers in the Corn Belt 

U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C, 1956. 



For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C. 
or any of the Field Offices of the Department of Commerce, Price 45 cents (paper cover) 



PREFACE 



The purpose of this report is to present an analysis of the characteristics of farmers and farm production 
for the most important types of farms as shown by data for the 1954 Census of Agriculture. The analysis 
deals with the relative importance, pattern of resource use, some measures of efficiency, and problems of 
adjustment and change for the principal types of farms. 

The data given in the various chapters of this report have been derived largely from the special tabula- 
tion of data for each type of farm, by economic class, for the 1954 Census of Agriculture. The detailed 
statistics for each type of farm for the United States and the principal subregions appear in Part 8 of Volume 
III of the reports for the 1954 Census of Agriculture. 

This cooperative report was prepared under the direction of Ray Hurley, Chief of the Agriculture Divi- 
sion of the Bureau of the Census, U. S. Department of Commerce, and Kenneth L. Bachman, Head, Produc- 
tion, Income, and Costs Section, Production Economics Research Branch, Agricultural Research Service of 
the U. S. Department of Agriculture. 

Jackson V. McElveen, Agricultural Economist, Production, Income, and Costs Section, Production 
Economics Research Branch, Agricultural Research Service of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, super- 
vised a large part of the detailed planning and analysis for the various chapters. 

The list of chapters and the persons preparing each chapter are as follows: 



Chapter I Wheat Producers and Wheat 

Production 
A. W. Epp, 
University of Nebraska. 

Chapter II Cotton Producers and Cotton 

Production 
Robert B. Glasgow, 
Production Economics Research 

Branch, 
Agricultural Research Service, 
United States Department of 

Agriculture. 

Chapter III Tobacco and Peanut Producers 

and Production 
R. E. L. Greene, 
University of Florida. 

Chapter IV Poultry Producers and Poultry 

Production 
William P. Mortenson, 
University of Wisconsin. 

Chapter V Dairy Producers and Dairy Pro- 
duction 
P. E. McNall, 
University of Wisconsin. 



Chapter VI Western Stock Ranches and Live- 
stock Farms 
Mont H. Saunderson, 
Western Ranching and Lands 

Consultant, 
Bozeman, Mont. 

Chapter VII Cash-grain and Livestock Pro- 
ducers in the Corn Belt 

p;dwin G. Strand, 

Production Economics Research 
Branch, 

Agricultural Research Service, 

United States Department of 
.Agriculture. 

Chapter VIII __ Part-time Farming 
H. G. Halcrow, 
University of Connecticut. 

Chapter IX Agricultural Producers and Pro- 
duction in the United State.s — 
A General View 
Jackson V. McElveen, 
Production Economics Research 

Branch, 
Agricultural Research Service, 
United States Department of 
Agriculture. 



The editorial work for this report was performed by Caroline B. Sherman, and the preparation of the 
statistical tables was supervised by Margaret Wood. 



December 1956 



UNITED STATES CENSUS OF AGJRICULTURE : 1954 

REPORTS 

Volume I. — Counties and State Economic Areas. Statistics for counties include number of farms, acreage, value, and farm operators; 
farms by color and tenure of operator; facilities and equipment; use of commercial fertilizer; farm labor; farm expenditures; livestock and 
livestock products; specified crops harvested; farms classified by type of farm and by economic class; and value of products sold by source. 

Data for State economic areas include farms and farm characteristics by tenure of operator, by type of farm, and by economic class. 

Volume I is published in 33 parts. 

Volume II. — General Report. Statistics by Subjects, United States Census of iVgriculture, 1954. Summary data and analyses of 
the data for States, for Geographic Divisions, and for the United States by subjects. 



Volume III. — Special Reports 

Part 1. — Multiple-Unit Operations. This report wiU be similar to 
Part 2 of Volume V of the reports for the 1950 Census of Agri- 
culture. It will present statistics for approximately 900 
counties and State economic areas in 12 Southern States and 
Missouri for the number and characteristics of multiple-unit 
operations and farms in multiple units. 

Part 2. — Ranking Agricultural Counties. This special report will 
present statistics for selected items of inventory and agricul- 
tural production for the leading counties in the United States. 

Part 3. — Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, District of Columbia, and 
U. S. Possessions. These areas were not included in the 1954 
Census of Agriculture. The available current data from vari- 
ous Government sources will be compiled and published in 
this report. 

Part 4. — Agriculture, 1954, a Graphic Summary. This report will 
present graphically some of the significant facts regarding 
agriculture and agricultural production as revealed by the 1954 
Census of Agriculture. 

Part 5. — Farm-Mortgage Debt. This will be a cooperative study 
by the Agricultural Research Service of the U. S. Department 
of Agriculture and the Bureau of the Census. It will present, 
by States, data based on the 1954 Census of Agriculture and a 
special mail survey conducted in January 1956, on the num- 
ber of mortgaged farms, the amount of mortgage debt, and the 
amount of debt held by principal lending agencies. 

Part 6. — Irrigation in Humid Areas. This cooperative report by 
the Agricultural Research Service of the U. S. Department of 
Agriculture and the Bureau of the Census will present data ob- 
tained by a mail survey of operators of irrigated farms in 28 
States on the source of water, method of applying water, num- 
ber of pumps used, acres of crops irrigated in 1954 and 1955, 
the number of times each crop was irrigated, and the cost of 
irrigation equipment and the irrigation system. 

Part 7. — Popular Report of the 1954 Census of Agriculture. This 
report is planned to be a general, easy-to-read publication for 
the general public on the status and broad characteristics of 
United States agriculture. It will seek to delineate such as- 
pects of agriculture as the geographic distribution and dif- 
ferences by size of farm for such items as farm acreage, princi- 
pal crops, and important kinds of livestock, farm facilities, 
farm equipment, use of fertilizer, soil conservation practices, 
farm tenure, and farm income. 

Part 8. — Size of Operation by Type of Farm. This will be a coop- 
erative special report to be prepared in cooperation with the 
Agricultural Research Service of the U. S. Department of Agri- 
culture. This report will contain data for 119 economic sub- 



regions (essentially general type-of-farming areas) showing the 
general characteristics for each type of farm by economic class. 
It will provide data for a current analysis of the differences 
that exist among groups of farms of the same type. It will 
furnish statistical basis for a realistic examination of produc- 
tion of such commodities as wheat, cotton, and dairy products 
in connection with actual or proposed governmental policies 
and programs. 
Part 9. — Farmers and Farm Production in the United States. 
The purpose of this report is to present an analysis of the 
characteristics of farmers and farm production for the most 
important types of farms as shown by data for the 1954 Census 
of Agriculture. The analysis deals with the relative importance, 
pattern of resource use, some measures of efficiency, and prob- 
lems of adjustment and change for the principal types of farms. 
The report was prepared in cooperation with the Agricultural 
Research Service of the U. S. Department of Agriculture. 

The list of chapters (published separately only) and title 
fur each chapter are as follows: 

Chapter I — Wheat Producers and Wheat Production 
II — Cotton Producers and Cotton Production 
III — Tobacco and Peanut Producers and Production 
IV — Poultry Producers and Poultry Production 

V — Dairy Producers and Dairy Production 
VI — Western Stock Ranches and Livestock Farms 
VII — Cash-Grain and Livestock Producers in the Corn 
Belt 
VIII — Part-Time Farming 
IX — Agricultural Producers and Production in the 
United States — A General View 
Part 10. — Use of Fertilizer and Lime. The purpose of this report 
is to present in one publication most of the detailed data com- 
piled for the 1954 Census of Agriculture regarding the use of 
fertilizer and lime. The report presents data for counties. 
State economic areas, and generalized type-of-farming areas 
regarding the quantity used, acreage on which used, and 
expenditures for fertilizer and lime. The Agricultural Research 
Service cooperated with the Bureau of the Census in the prep- 
aration of this report. 
Part 11. — Farmers' Expenditures. This report presents detailed 
data on expenditures for a large number of items used for farm 
production in 1955, and on the living expenditures of farm 
operators' families. The data were collected and compiled 
cooperatively by the Agricultural Marketing Service of the 
U. S. Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of the Census. 
Part 12. — Methods and Procedures. This report contains an 
outline and a description of the methods and procedures used 
in taking and compiling the 1954 Census of Agriculture. 



INTRODUCTION 



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VI 



INTRODUCTION 



Purpose and scope. — American agriculture is exceedingly diverse 
and is undergoing revolutionary changes. Farmers and their 
families obtain their income by producing a large variety of 
products under a large variety of conditions as well as from sources 
other than farming. The organization of production, type of 
farming, productivity, income, expenditures, size, and character- 
istics of operators of the 4.8 million farms in the United States 
vary greatly. Agriculture has been a dynamic, moving, adjusting 
part of our economy. Basic changes in farming have been occurring 
and will continue to be necessary. Adjustments brought by tech- 
nological change, by changing consumer wants, by growth of 
population, and by changes in the income of nonfarm peoijle, have 
been significant forces in changing agriculture since World War II. 
The transition from war to an approximate peacetime situation 
has also made it necessary to reduce the output of soine farm 
products. Some of the adjustments in agriculture have not pre- 
sented relatively difficult problems as they could be made by the 
transfer of resources from the production of one product to another. 
Others require substantial shifts in resources and production. 

Moreover, a considerable number of farm families, many of whom 
are employed full time in agriculture, have relatively low incomes. 
Most of these families operate farms that are small when compared 
with farms that produce higher incomes. The acreage of land and 
the amount of capital controlled by the operators of these small 
farms are too small to provide a very high level of income. In 
recent years, many farm families on these small farms have made 
adjustments by leaving the farm to earn their incomes elsewhere, 
by discontinuing their farm operations, and by earning more non- 
farm income while remaining on the farm or on the place they 
farmed formerlv. 

One objective of this report is to describe and analyze some of 
the existing differences and recent adjustments in the major types 
of farming and farm production. For important commodities and 
groups of farms, the report aims to make available, largely from 
the detailed data for the 1954 Census of Agriculture but in a more 
concise form, facts regarding the size of farms, capital, labor, and 
land resources on farms, amounts and sources of farm income and 
expenditures, combinations of crop and livestock enterprises, 
adjustment problems, operator characteristics, and variation in use 
of resources and in size of farms by areas and for widely differing 
production conditions. Those types of farms on which production 
of surplus products is important have been emphasized. The 
report will provide a factual basis for a better understanding of 
the widespread differences among farms in regard to size, resources, 
and income. It will also provide a basis for evaluating the effects 
of existing and proposed farm programs on the production and 
incomes of major types and classes of farms. 

Income from nonfarm sources is important on a large number 
of farms. About 1.4 million of the 4.8 million farm-operator 
families, or about 3 in 10, obtain more income from off-farm sources 
than from the sale of agricultural products. More than three- 
fourths of a million farm operators live on small-scale part-time 
farms and ordinarily are not dependent on farming as the main 
source of family income. These part-time farmers have a quite 
different relation to adjustments, changes, and farm problems 
than do commercial farmers. A description of and facts regarding 
these part-time farms and the importance of nonfarm income for 
commercial farms are presented in Chapter 8. 



Except for Chapter 8, this report deals with commercial farms 
(see economic class of farm). The analysis is limited to the major 
types of agricultural production and deals primarily with geo- 
graphic areas in which each of the major types of agricultural 
production has substantial significance. 

Source of data. — Most of the data presented in this report are 
from special compilations made for the 1954 Census of Agriculture, 
although pertinent data from research findings and surveys of the 
U. S. Department of Agriculture, State Agricultural Colleges, and 
other agencies have been used to supplement Census data. The 
detailed Census data used for this report are contained in Part 8 of 
Volume III of the reports of the 1954 Census of Agriculture. 
Reference should be made to that report for detailed explanations 
and definitions and statements regarding the characteristics and 
reliability of the data. 

Areas for which data are presented. — Data are presented in 
this report primarily for selected economic subregions and for the 
United States. The boundaries of the 119 subregions used for the 
compilation of data on which this report is based are indicated by 
the map on page vi. These subregions represent primarily general 
t3'pe-of-farming areas. Many of them extend into two or more 
States. (For a more detailed description of economic subregions, 
see the publication "Economic Subregions of the United States, 
Series Census BAE; No. 19, published cooperatively by the Bureau 
of the Census, and the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, U. S. 
Department of Agriculture, July 1953.) 

DEFINITIONS AND EXPLANATIONS 

Definitions and explanations are given only for some of the more 
important items. For more detailed definitions and explanations, 
reference can be made to Part 8 of Volume III and to Volume II of 
the reports of the 1954 Census of Agriculture. 

A farm. — For the 1954 Census of Agriculture, places of 3 or 
more acres were counted as farms if the annual value of agricultural 
products, exclusive of home-garden products, amounted to $150 
or more. The agricultural products could have been either for 
home use or for sale. Places of less than 3 acres were counted as 
farms only if the annual value of sales of agricultural products 
amounted to $150 or more. Places for which the value of agricul- 
tural products for 1954 was less than these minima because of crop 
failure or other unusual conditions, and places operated at the time 
of the Census for the first time were counted as farms if normally 
they could be expected to produce these minimum quantities of 
agricultural products. 

All the land under the control of one person or partnership was 
included as one farm. Control may have been through ownership, 
or through lease, rental, or cropping arrangement. 

Farm operator. — A "farm operator" is a person who operates 
a farm, either performing the labor himself or directly supervising 
it. He may be an owner, a hired manager, or a tenant, renter, or 
sharecropper. If he rents land to others or has land cropped for 
him by others, he is hsted as the operator of only that land which 
he retains. In the case of a partnership, only one partner was 
included as the operator. The number of farm operators is con- 
sidered the same as the number of farms. 



VIII 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Farms reporting or operators reporting. — Figures for farms 
reporting or operators reporting, based on a tabulation of all farms, 
represent the number of farms, or farm operators, for which the 
specified item was reported. For example, if there were 11,922 
farms in a subregion and only 11,465 had chickens over 4 months 
old on hand, the number of farms reporting chickens would be 
11,465. The difference between the total number of farms and the 
number of farms reporting an item represents the number of farms 
not having that item, provided the inquiry was answered 
completely for all farms. 

Farms by type. — The classification of comm"ercial farms by 
type was made on the basis of the relationship of the value of 
sales from a particular source, or sources, to the total value of all 
farm products sold from the farm. In some cases, the type of 
farm was determined on the basis of the sale of an individual farm 
product, such as cotton, or on the basis of the sales of closely re- 
lated products, such as dairy products. In other cases, the type 
of farm was determined on the basis of sales of a broader group of 
products, such as grain crops including corn, sorghums, all small 
grains, field peas, field beans, cowpeas, and soybeans. In order to 
be classified as a particular type, sales or anticipated sales of a 
product or group of products had to represent 50 percent or more 
of the total value of products sold. 

The types of commercial farms for which data are shown, to- 
gether with the product or group of products on which the classi- 
fication is based are: 

Product or group of products amounts 
ing to 50 percent or more of the 
Type of farm value of all farm products sold 

Cash-grain Corn, sorghum, small grains, field 

peas, field beans, cowpeas, and 
soybeans. 

Cotton Cotton (lint and seed). 

Other field-crop Peanuts, Irish potatoes, sweet- 
potatoes, tobacco, sugarcane, sug- 
ar beets for sugar, and other 
miscellaneous crops. 

Vegetable Vegetables. 

Fruit-and-nut Berries and other small fruits, and 

tree fruits, nuts, and grapes. 

Dairy Milk and other dairy products. 

The criterion of 50 percent of the 
total sales was modified in the 
case of dairy farms. A farm for 
which the value of sales of dairy 
products represented less than 50 
percent of the total value of farm 
products sold was classified as a 
dairy farm if — 

(a) Milk and other dairy prod- 

ucts accoimted for 30 
percent or more of the 
total value of products 
sold, and 

(b) Milk cows represented 50 

percent or more of all 
cows, and 

(c) Sales of dairy products, to- 

gether with the sales 
of cattle and calves, 
amounted to 50 percent 
or more of the total 
value of farm products 
sold. 
Chickens, eggs, turkeys, and other 

poultry products. 
Cattle, calves, hogs, sheep, goats, 

wool, and mohair, provided the 

farm did not qualify as a dairy 

f arm . 



Poultry. 



Livestock farms other 
dairy and poultry. 



than 



Product or group of products amount- 
ing to 50 percent or more of the 
Type of farm value of all farm products sold 

General Farms were classified as general 

when the value of products from 
one source or group of sources 
did not represent as much as 50 
percent of the total value of all 
farm products sold. Separate 
figures are given for three kinds 
of general farms: 

(a) Primarily crop. 

(b) Primarily livestock. 

(c) Crop and livestock. 

Primarily crop farms are those for 
which the sale of one of the 
following crops or groups of 
crops — vegetables, fruits and 
nuts, cotton, cash grains, or other 
field crops — did not amount to 
50 percent or more of the value 
of all farm products sold, but 
for which the value of sales for 
all these groups of crops repre- 
sented 70 percent or more of the 
value of all farm products sold. 

Primarily livestock farms are those 
which could not qualify as dairy 
farms, poultry farms, or livestock 
farms other than dairy and 
poultry, but on which the sale 

- of livestock and poultry and 
livestock and poultry products 
amounted to 70 percent or more 
of the value of all farm products 
sold. 

General crop and livestock farms are 
those which could not be classi- 
fied as either crop farms or live- 
stock farms, but on which the 
sale of all crops amounted to at 
least 30 percent but less than 70 
percent of the total value of all 
farm products sold. 

Miscellaneous This group of farms includes those 

that had 50 percent or more of 
the total value of products ac- 
counted for by sale of horticul- 
tural products, or sale of horses, 
or sale of forest products. 

Farms by economic class. — A classification of farms by eco- 
nomic class was made for the purpose of segregating groups of 
farms that are somewhat alike in their characteristics and size of 
operation. This classification was made in order to present an 
accurate description of the farms in each class and in order to 
provide basic data for an analysis of the organization of agriculture. 

The classification of farms by economic class was made on the 
basis of three factors; namely, total value of all farm products 
sold, number of days the farm operator worked off the farm, and 
the relationship of the income received from nonfarm sources by 
the operator and members of his family to the value of all farm 
products sold. Farms operated by institutions, experiment sta- 
tions, grazing associations, and community projects were classified 
as abnormal, regardless of any of the three factors. 

For the purpose of determining the code for economic class and 
type of farm, it was necessary to obtain the total value of farm 
products sold as well as the value of some individual products 
sold. 

The total value of farm products sold was obtained by adding 
the reported or estimated values for all products sold from the 
farm. The value of livestock, livestock products except wool and 
mohair, vegetables, nursery and greenhouse products, and forest 



INTRODUCTION 



IX 



products was obtained by the einmirrator from the farm operator 
for each farm. The enumerator also obtained from the farm 
operator the quantity sold for corn, sorghums, small grains, hays, 
and small fruits. The value of sales for these crops was obtained 
by multiplying the quantity sold by State average prices. 

The quantity sold was estimated for all other farm products. 
The entire quantity produced for wool, mohair, cotton, tobacco, 
sugar beets for sugar, sugarcane for sugar, broomcorn, hops, and 
mint for oil was estimated as sold. To obtain the value of each 
product sold, the quantity sold was multiplied by State average 
prices. 

In making the classification of farms by economic class, farms 
were grouped into two major groups, namely, commercial farms 
and other farms. In general, all farms with a value of sales of 
farm products amounting to $1,200 or more were classified as 
commercial. Farms with a value of sales of $250 to $1,199 were 
classified as commercial only if the farm operator worked off the 
farm less than 100 days or if the income of the farm operator and 
members of his family received from nonfarm sources was less than 
the total value of all farm products sold. 

land in farms according to use. — Land in farms was classified 
according to the use made of it in 1954. The classes of land 
are mutually exclusive, i. e., each acre of land was included only 
once even though it may have had more than one use during the 
year. 

The classes referred to in this report are as follows: 

Cropland harvested. — Thi.s includes land from which crops 
were harvested; land from which hay (including wild hay) was 
cut; and land in small fruits, orchards, vineyards, nurseries, and 
greenhouses. Land from which two or more crops were reported 
as harvested was to be counted only once. 

Cropland used only for pasture. — In the 1954 Census, the 
enumerator's instructions stated that rotation pasture and all 
other cropland that was used only for pasture were to be in- 
cluded under this class. No further definition of cropland 
pastured was given the farm operator or enumerator. Per- 
manent open pasture may, therefore, have been included under 
this item or under "other pasture," depending on whether the 
enumerator or farm operator considered it as cropland. 

Cropland not harvested and not pastured. — This item includes 
idle cropland, land in soil-improvement crops only, land on 
which all crops failed, land seeded to crops for harvest after 
1954, and cultivated summer fallow. 

In the Western States, this class was subdivided to show 
separately the acres of cultivated summer fallow. In these 
States, the acreage not in culti\ated summer fallow represents 
largely crop failure. There are verj' few counties in the West- 
ern States in which there is a large acreage of idle cropland or 
in which the growing of soil-improvement crops is an important 
use of the land. 

In the States other than the Western States, this general 
class was subdivided to show separately the acres of idle crop- 
land (not used for crops or for pasture in 1954). In these States, 
the incidence of crop failure is usually low. It was expected 
that the acreage figure that excluded idle land would reflect 
the acreage in soil-improvement crops. However, the 1954 
crop year was one of low rainfall in many Eastern and Southern 
States and, therefore, in these areas the acreage of cropland not 
harvested and not pastured includes more land on which all 
crops failed than would usually be the case. 

Cultivated summer fallow. — This item includes cropland 
that was plowed and cultivated but left unseeded for several 
months to control weeds and conserve nioisture. No land 
from which crops were harvested in 1954 was to be included 
under this item. 

Cropland, total. — This includes cropland harvested, cropland 
used only for pasture, and cropland not harvested and not 
pastured. 

Land pastured, total. — This includes cropland used only for 
pastvire, woodland pastured, and other pasture (not cropland 
and not woodland). 



Woodland, total. — This includes woodland pastured and 

woodland not pastured. 

Value of land and buildings. — The value to be reported was 
the approximate amount for which the land and the buildings on 
it would sell. 

Off-farm work and other income. — Many farm operators receive 
a part of their income from sources other than the sale of farm 
products from their farms. The 1954 Agriculture Questionnaire 
included several inquiries relating to work off the farm and non- 
farm income. These inquiries called for the number of days 
worked off the farm by the farm operator; whether other members 
of the operator's family worked off the farm; and whether the 
farm operator received income from other sources, such as sale 
of products from land rented out, cash rent, boarders, old age 
assistance, pensions, veterans' allowances, unemployment com- 
pensation, interest, dividends, profits from nonfarm business, 
and help from other members of the operator's family. Another 
inquiry asked whether the income of the operator and his family 
from off-farm work and other sources was greater than the total 
value of all agricultural products sold from the farm in 1954. 
Off-farm work was to include work at nonfarm jobs, businesses, 
or professions, whether performed on the farm premises or else- 
where; also, work on someone else's farm for pay or wages. Ex- 
change work was not to be included. 

Specified facilities and equipment. — Inquiries were made in 
1954 to determine the presence or absence of selected items on 
each place such as (1) telephone, (2) piped running water, (3) 
electricity, (4) television set, (5) home freezer, (6) electric pig 
brooder, (7) milking machine, and (8) power feed grinder. Such 
facilities or equipment were to be counted even though tem- 
porarily out of order. Piped running water was defined as water 
piped from a pressure system or by gravity flow from a natural 
or artificial source. The enumerator's instructions stated that 
pig brooders were to include those heated by an electric heating 
element, by an infrared or heat bulb, or by ordinary electric bulbs. 
They could be homemade. 

The number of selected types of other farm equipment was also 
obtained for a sample of farms. The selected kinds of farm 
equipment to be reported were (1) grain combines (for harvesting 
and threshing grains or seeds in one operation); (2) cornpickers; 
(3) pickup balers (stationary ones not to be reported) ; (4) field 
forage harvesters (for field chopping of silage and forage crops) ; 
(5) motortrucks; (6) wheel tractors (other than garden); (7) 
garden tractors; (8) crawler tractors (tracklaying, caterpillar); 
(9) automobiles; and (10) artificial ponds, reservoirs, and earth 
tanks. 

Wheel tractors were to include homemade tractors but were not 
to include implements having built-in power units such as self- 
propelled combines, powered buck rakes, etc. Pickup and truck- 
trailer combinations were to be reported as motortrucks. School 
buses were not to be reported, and jeeps and station wagons were 
to be included as motortrucks or automobiles, depending on 
whether used for hauling farm products or suppUes, or as passenger 
vehicles. 

Farm labor. — The farm-labor inquiries for 1954, called for the 
number of persons doing farmwork or chores on the place during 
a specified calendar week. Since starting dates of the 1954 enumer- 
ation varied by areas or States, the calendar week to which the 
farm-labor inquiries related varied also. The calendar week was 
September 26-October 2 or October 24-30. States with the 
September 26-October 2 calendar week were: Arizona, CaUfornia, 
Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, 
Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, 
Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, 



423024—57- 



X 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, 
Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, 
Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. States with the October 
24-30 calendar week were : Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, 
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North 
Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. 
Farmwork was to include any work, chores, or planning necessary 
to the operation of the farm or ranch business. Housework, 
contract construction work, and labor involved when equipment 
was hired (custom work) were not to be included. 

The farm-labor information was obtained in three parts: 
(1) Operators working, (2) unpaid members of the operator's family 
working, and (3) hired persons working. Operators were consid- 
ered as working if they worked 1 or more hours; unpaid members 
of the operator's family, if they worked 15 or more hours; and 
hired persons, if they worked any time during the calendar week 
specified. Instructions contained no specifications regarding age 
of the persons working. 

Regular and seasonal workers. — Hired persons working on 
the farm during the specified week were classed as "regular" 
workers if the period of actual or expected employment was 150 
days or more during the year, and as "seasonal" workers if the 
period of actual or expected employment was less than 150 days. 
If the period of expected employment was not reported, the 
period of employment was estimated for the individual farm 
after taking into account such items as the basis of payment, 
wage rate, expenditures for labor in 1954, and the type and 
other characteristics of the farm. 

Specified farm expenditures. — The 1954 Census obtained data 
for selected farm expense items in addition to those for fertilizer 
and lime. The expenditures were to include the total specified 
expenditures for the place whether made by landlord, tenant, or 
both. 

Expenditures for machine hire were to include any labor in- 
cluded in the cost of such machine hire. Machine hire refers to 
custom machine work such as tractor hire, threshing, combining, 
silo filling, baling, ginning, plowing, and spraying. If part of the 
farm products was given as pay for machine hire, the value of the 
products traded for this service was to be included in the amount 
of expenditures reported. The cost of trucking, freight, and 
express was not to be included. 

Expenditures for hired labor were to include only cash pay- 
ments. Expenditures for housework, custom work, and contract 
construction work were not to be included. 

Expenditures for feed were to include the expenditures for 
pasture, salt, condiments, concentrates, and mineral supplements, 
as well as those for grain, hay, and mill feeds. Expenditures for 
grinding and mixing feeds were also to be included. Payments 
made by a tenant to his landlord for feed grown on the land rented 
by the tenant were not to be included. 

Expenditures for gasoline and other petroleum fuel and oil were 
to include only those used for the farm business. Petroleum 
products used for the farmer's automobile for pleasure or used 
exclusively in the farm home for heating, cooking, and lighting 
were not to be included. 

Crops harvested. — The information on crops harvested refers 
to the acreage and quantity harvested for the 1954 crop year. An 
exception was made for land in fruit orchards and planted nut 
trees. In this case, the acreage represents that in both bearing 
and nonbearing trees and vines as of October and November 1954. 
Hay. — The data for hay includes all kinds of hay except soy- 
bean, cowpca, sorghum, and peanut hay. 

livestock and poultry. — The data on the number of livestock 
and poultry represent the number on hand on the day of enumera- 



tion (October-November 1954). The data relating to livestock 
products and the number of livestock sold relate to the sales made 
during the calendar year 1954. 

LABOR RESOURCES 

The data for labor resources available represent estimates based 
largely on Census data and developed for the purpose of making 
comparisons among farms of various size of operations. The 
labor resources available are stated in terms of man-equivalents. 

To obtain the man-equivalents the total number of farm opera- 
tors as reported by the 1954 Census were adjusted for estimated 
man-years of work off the farm and for the number of farm opera- 
tors 65 years old and over. The farm operator was taken to rep- 
resent a full man-equivalent of labor unless he was 65 years or 
older or unless he worked at an off-farm job in 1954. 

The man-equivalent estimated for farm operators reporting spec- 
ified amounts of off-farm work were as follows: 

Estimated 
Days worked off the farm in 1954 man-equivalent 

1-99 davs 0. 85 

100-199 days . 50 

200 days and over . 15 

The man-equivalent for farm operators 65 years of age and older 
was estimated at 0.5. 

Man-equivalents of members of the farm operator's family were 
based upon Census data obtained in response to the question 
"How many members of your family did 15 or more hours of farm 
work on this place the week of September 26-October 2 (or, in 
some areas, the week of October 24r-30) without receiving cash 
wages?" Each family worker was considered as 0.5 man-equiva- 
lent. This estimate provides allowance for the somewhat higher 
incidence of women, children, and elderly persons in the unpaid 
family labor force. 

In addition, the number of unpaid family workers who were 
reported as working 15 or more hours in the week of September 
26-October 2 was adjusted to take account of seasonal changes in 
farm employment. Using published and unpublished findings of 
the U. S. Department of Agriculture and State Agricultural Col- 
leges, and depending largely upon knowledge and experience with 
the geographic areas and type of farming, each author deter- 
mined the adjustment factor needed to correct the number of 
family workers reported for the week of September 26-October 2 
to an annual average basis. 

Man-equivalents of hired workers are based entirely upon the 
expenditure for cash wages and the average wage of permanent 
hired laborers as reported in the 1954 Census of Agriculture. 

Value of or investment in livestock. — Numbers of specified 
livestock and poultry in each subregion were multiplied by a 
weighted average value per head. The average values were com- 
puted from data compiled for each kind of livestock for the 1954 
Census of Agriculture. The total value does not include the value 
of goats. (For a description of the method of obtaining the value 
of livestock, see Chapter VI of Volume II of the reports for the 
1954 Census of Agriculture.) 

Value of investment in machinery and equipment. — The data 
on value of investment in machinery and equipment were developed 
for the purpose of making broad comparisons among types and 
economic classes of farms and by subregions. Numbers of specified 
machines on farms, as reported by the Census, were multiplied by 
estimated average value per machine. Then the total values ob- 
tained were adjusted upward to provide for the inclusion of items 
of equipment not included in the Census inventory of farm 
machinery. 



INTRODUCTION 



XI 



The estimates for average value of specified machines and the 
proportion of total value of all machinery represented by tlie 
\-alue of these machines were based largely on published and un- 
published data from the "Farm Costs and Returns" surveys con- 
ducted currently by the Agricultural Research Service, U. S. 
Department of Agriculture.' Modifications were made as needed 
in the individual chapters on the basis of State and local studies. 
The total estimated value of all machinery for all types and 
economic classes of farms is approximately eciual to the value of 
all machinery as estimated by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. 

Value of farm products sold, or gross sales. — Data on the 
value of the various farm products sold were obtained for 1954 by 
two methods. First, the values of livestock and livestock prod- 
ucts sold, except wool and mohair; vegetables harvested for sale; 
nursery and greenhouse products; and forest products were 
obtained by asking each farm operator the value of sales. Second, 
the values of all other farm products sold were computed. For the 
most important crops, the quantity sold or to be sold was obtained 
for each farm. The entire quantity harvested for cotton and 
cottonseed, tobacco, sugar beets for sugar, hops, mint for oil, and 
sugarcane for sugar was considered sold. The quantity of minor 
crops sold was estimated. The value of sales for each crop was 
computed by multiplying the quantity sold by State average 
prices. In the case of wool and mohair, the value of sales was 
computed by multiplying the quantity shorn or clipped by the 
State average prices. 

Gross sales include the value of all kinds of farm products sold. 
The total does not include rental and benefit, soil conservation, 
price adjustment, Sugar Act, and similar payments. The total 



does include the value of the landlord's share of a crop removed 
from a farm operated by a share tenant. In most of the tables, 
detailed data are presented for only the more important sources 
of gross sales and the total for the individual farm products 
or sources will not equal the total as the values for the less impor- 
tant sources or farm products have been omitted. (For a detailed 
statement regarding the reliability and method of obtaining the 
value of farm products sold, reference should be made to Chapter 
IX of Volume II of the reports for the 1054 Census of Agriculture.) 

Livestock and livestock prodxicts sold. — The value of sales for 
livestock and livestock products includes the value of live animals 
sold, dairy products sold, poultry and poultry products sold, and 
the calculated value of wool and mohair. The value of bees, 
honey, fur animals, goats, and goat milk is not included. 

The value of dairy products includes the value of whole milk and 
cream sold, but does not include the value of butter and cheese, 
made on the farm, and sold. The value of poultry and products 
includes the value of chickens, broilers, chicken eggs, turke}'s, 
turkey eggs, ducks, geese, and other miscellaneous poultry and 
poultry products sold. The value does not include the value 
of l)al-iy chicks sold. 

Crops sold. — Vegetables sold includes the value of all vegetables 
harvested for sale, but does not include the value of Irish potatoes 
and swectpotatoes. 

The value of all crops sold includes the value of all crops sold 
except forest products. The value of field crops sold includes the 
value of sales of all crops sold except vegetables, small fruits and 
berries, fruits, and nuts. 



1 Farm Costs and Returns, 1955 (with comparisons), Agricultuic lurormatiou Bulletin No. 158, Agricultuial Research Service, U. S. Department of Agricultuie, June 1956. 



CHAPTER VII 

CASH 'GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 

(1) 



CONTENTS 



Page 

Introduction 5 

The Corn Belt 5 

Significance of the Corn Belt in American agriculture— 6 

Regions within the Corn Belt 7 

Types of farming 8 

Farm organization in the Corn Belt 9 

Type of farm 9 

Economic class of farm 11 

Size of farm 12 

Residence and tenure of farm operators 15 

Type of land 18 

Land use 20 

Capital investment on farms 24 

Total investment 24 

Land and buildings 25 

Livestock 27 

Machinery and equipment 27 

Horses and mules 31 

Automobiles and home facilities 31 

Farm labor 32 

Characteristics of operators 32 

Size and composition of labor force 34 



Crop production 

Crops grown 

Yields per acre 

Crop sales 

Use of commercial fertilizer and lime 

Commercial fertilizer 

Lime 

Livestock production 

Kind and number of livestock 

Sales of livestock and livestock products. 
Gross sales and income 

Specified expenses 

Investment cost 



Indicators of farm efficiency 

Production per unit of land 

Capital inputs and product output per acre. 

Production per unit of labor 

Production per unit of capital 

Literature cited 



MAPS 



Page 

Corn for all purposes, acreage, 1954 5 

The Corn Belt 5 

Value of all farm products sold, dollars, 1954 6 

Value of all crops sold, dollars, 1954 6 

Value of livestock and livestock products other than dairy 

and poultry sold, dollars, 1954 6 

Percent of total land area in farms, 1954 8 

■Commercial farms, number, 1954 9 

■Cash-grain farms, number, 1954 9 

Livestock farms, number, 1954 9 

'General farms, number, 1954 9 

Average size of farms, 1954 13 

Farms operated by full owners, number, 1954 17 

Farms operated by part owners, number, 1954 17 

Farms operated by all tenants, numl^er, 1954 17 

Most frequent method of renting farms, 1954 IS 

Total cropland as a percent of all land in farms, 1954 19 

Cropland harvested, acreage, 1954 23 

Average value of land and buildings per acre, 1954 26 

Tractors on farms, number, 1954 27 

Corn pickers, number of farms reporting, 1954 27 



Grain combines, number of farms reporting, 1954 

Power feed grinders, number of farms reporting, 1954 

Corn harvested for grain, acreage, 1954 

Soybeans harvested for beans, acreage, 1954 

Oats threshed, acreage, 1954 

All wheat threshed, acreage, 1954 

Alfalfa cut for hay, acreage, 1954 

Clover or timothy cut for hay, acreage, 1954 

Average yield of corn per acre, bushels, 1954 

Farms reporting expenditures for commercial fertilizers as a 

percent of all farms, 1954 

Farms reporting expenditures for lime and liming materials 

as a percent of all farms, 1954 

Cattle sold, number of cattle and calves sold alive, 1954 

Hogs sold, number of hogs and pigs sold alive, 1954 

Chicken eggs sold, dozens, 1954 

Turkeys raised, number, 1954 

Expenditures for livestock and poultry purchased, dollars, 

1949 

Average value of farm products sold per acre of all land in 

farms, 1954 



TABLES 

Table— 
1. — Total quantities of specified items for commercial farms in the United States and in the Corn Belt, showing percentage of 

United States total in the Corn Belt: 1954 

2. — Comparison of totals for five Corn Belt States and the Corn Belt as used in the present study, with respect to specified items for 

commercial farms: 1954 

3. — Percent of commercial farms reporting specified uses of cropland and specified crops harvested, in the Corn Belt and com- 
ponent regions : 1954 

4. — Number of farms in the United States and in the Corn Belt, by broad economic class and type of farm: 1954 

5. — Percent of farms in each broad economic class and type, for the United States and Corn Belt: 1954 

6. — Number of all commercial farms, and number and percentage distribution of specified types of farms, in the United States and 

specified States : 1954 

7. — Number of farms in each region of the Corn Belt, and percentage distribution among regions, by broad economic class and 

type of farm : 1954 

8. — Percentage distribution of commercial farms, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954 

9. — Number and percentage distribution of cash-grain farms, by economic class, in the United States and Corn Belt: 1954 

10. — Number and percentage distribution of livestock other than dairy and poultry farms, by economic class, in the United States 

and Corn Belt: 1954 

2 



Page 
36 
36 
42 
43 

45 
45 
48 
50 
50 
53 
57 

59 
62 

63 
63 
64 
66 

67 

68 



Page 
27 
28 
38 
39 
39 
39 
40 
40 
42 

45 

48 
53 
54 
54 
54 

61 

65 

Page 
6 

7 

8 
10 
10 

10 

10 

11 
11 



CONTENTS 3 

Table— -Poce 

11. — Specified items for commercial farms: Percentage distribution among principal types of farms, in the Corn Belt: 1954 12 

12. — Number and percentage of commercial farms in specified acreage size groups, for the United States and Corn Belt regions: 1954. 12 

13. — Percentage distribution of commercial farms among acreage size groups, in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954 13 

14. — Number of commercial farms in each acreage size group, in the Corn Belt: 1954 14 

15. — Percentage of commercial farms in each acreage size group, in the Corn Belt: 1954 14 

16. — Percentage distribution of types and economic classes of farms in each acreage size group, in the Corn Belt: 1954 15 

17. — Number and percentage of commercial farm operators, by residence and tenure status, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and 

component regions : 1954 16 

18. — Number and percentage of commercial farm operators, by residence and tenure status, by type and economic class of farm, in 

the Corn Belt: 1954 16 

19. — Acreage of all land in commercial farms and distribution of land among broad types or uses, in the Corn Belt and component 

regions : 1954 18 

20. — Percent of commercial farms reporting broad types or uses of land, in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954 18 

21. — Land in commercial farms, by type and economic class, in the Corn Belt: 1954 19 

22. — Cropland, woodland, and all other land as percentages of all land in commercial farms in the Corn Belt: 1954 19 

23. — Total land in commercial farms, and distribution of acreage according to use, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and component 

regions : 1954 20 

24. — Percent of commercial farms reporting land in specified uses in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954 20 

25. — Average acreage per farms reporting: All land in farms and farmland in specified uses, on commercial farms in the Corn 

Belt and component regions : 1954 21 

26. — Percentage distribution of farmland acreage according to use on commercial farms in the Corn Belt and component regions: 

1954 21 

27. — Percentage distribution of farmland acreage according to use on commercial farms in the Corn Belt: 1954 22 

28. — Percentage distribution of farms and land in farms among economic classes of cash-grain and livestock farms in the Corn Belt : 

1954 23 

29. — Total capital investment, and composition of investment, on commercial farms in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954_ 24 
30. — Value of capital investment per farm, and percentage composition, on principal types of farms in the Corn Belt and component 

regions: 1954 25 

31. — .\verage value of capital investment per commercial farm in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954 25 

32. — Average value and composition of capital investment per commercial farm in the Corn Belt: 1954 25 

33. — Average value of land and buildings per farm, for commercial farms, by type and economic class, in the Corn Belt and com- 
ponent regions: 1954 26 

34. — Average value of land and buildings per acre, by type and economic class of farm, in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954. 27 

35. — Percent of commercial farms in each type reporting specified farm machines in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954_. 28 

36. — Percent of commercial farms in each type, by economic class, reporting specified farm machines, in the Corn Belt: 1954 29 

37, — Percent of commercial farms reporting, by type of work power and number of tractors, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and 

component regions : 1954 29 

38. — Percent of commercial farms reporting, by type of work power and number of tractors, by type and economic class of farm, in the 

Corn Belt: 1954 30 

39. — Estimated average value of total investment in machinery and equipment, per commercial farm, in the Corn Belt and com- 
ponent regions : 1954 30 

40. — Estimated value of total investment in machinery and equipment on commercial farms in the Corn Belt and component 

regions : 1 954 30 

41. — Percent of commercial farms in each type reporting specified facilities and equipment, in the Corn Belt and component regions: 

1954 31 

42. — Percent of commercial farms in each type, by economic class, reporting specified facilities and equipment, in the Corn Belt: 

1954 31 

43. — Number and percentage of commercial farm operators, by age, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954. 32 

44. — Number and percentage of commercial farm operators, by age, by type and economic class of farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954. 32 
45. — Number and percentage of commercial farm operators reporting as to other income and off-farm work, by type of farm, in the 

Corn Belt and component regions: 1954 33 

46. — Number and percentage of commercial farm operators reporting as to other income and off-farm work, by type and economic 

class of farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 33 

47. — Number and percentage of commercial farms, by kind of farm workers, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and component regions, 

in specified week: 1954 34 

48. — Number and percentage of commercial farms, by kind of farm workers, by type and economic class of farm, in the Corn Belt, in 

specified week : 1 954 34 

49. — Labor force of farm workers, expressed in terms of average number of man-equivalents per farm, by t.vpe of farm, in the Corn 

Belt and component regions: 1954 35 

50. — Labor force of farm workers, expressed in terms of average number of man-equivalents per farm, by type and economic class ot 

farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 35 

51. — Percent of farms reporting specified crops, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954 36 

52. — Percent of farms reporting specified crops, by economic class of farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 37 

53. — Percent of total cropland in specified crops, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954 38 

54. — Average acreage of principal crops per farm reporting, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954 40 

55. — Average acreage of principal crops per farm reporting, by type and economic class of farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 41 



4 CONTENTS 

Table— Page 
56. — Quantity produced per farm reporting crop liarvested, for principal crops, by type of farm in the Corn Belt and component 

regions : 1954 41 

57. — Quantity produced per farm reporting for principal crops, by economic class of farm in the Corn Belt: 1954 42 

58. — Average yield per acre harvested of principal crops, by type of farm in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954 43 

59. — Average yield per acre harvested of princiiial crops, by type and economic class of farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 43 

60. — Quantity sold as a percentage of total production, for specified crops in the Corn Belt, by type of farm: 1954 43 

61. — Percentage distribution of value among crops sold, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954 44 

62. — Percent of all commercial farms reporting expenditures for commercial fertilizer and use of commercial fertilizer on specified 

crops, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954 46 

63. — Percent of all commercial farms reporting expenditures for commercial fertilizer and use of commercial fertilizer on specified 

crops, by type and economic class of farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 47 

64. — Use of commercial fertilizer and fertilizing material on commercial farms, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and component 

regions : 1954 47 

65. — Use of commercial fertilizer and fertilizing material on commercial farms, by type and economic class of farm, in the Corn Belt: 

1954 48 

66. — Use of lime and liming material on commercial farms, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954 49 

67. — Use of lime and liming material on commercial farms, by type and economic class of farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 49 

68. — Number of specified livestock on commercial farms, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954 50 

69. — Percent of commercial farms, by type, reporting specified kinds of livestock, in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954_- 51 

70. — Percent of farms in each type, reporting specified kinds of livestock, by economic class of farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 51 

71. — Average number of specified livestock per farm reporting, for commercial farms by type, in the Corn Belt and component 

regions : 1954 51 

72. — Average number of specified livestock per farm reporting, by type of farm by economic class, in the Corn Belt: 1954 51 

73. — Percent of farms reporting sales of specified livestock and livestock products, by principal types of farms, in the Corn Belt and 

component regions : 1954 5.3 

74. — Percent of commercial farms reporting specified livestock and livestock products sold, by type and economic class of farm, in the 

Corn Belt: 1954 53 

75. — Average value of specified livestock and livestock products sold per commercial farm reporting, in the Corn Belt: 1954 53 

76. — Percentage composition of value of sales of specified livestock and livestock products on principal types of farms, in the Corn 

Belt and component regions: 1954 55 

77. — Percentage composition of total value of sales of specified livestock and livestock products on commercial farms, by economic 

class, in the Corn Belt: 1954 55 

78. — Value of sales of specified livestock and livestock products on commercial farms in the Corn Belt: 1954 56 

79. — Value of whole milk and cream sold on principal types of commercial farms in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954.. 56 
80. — Average value of farm products sold, and percentage composition, for principal types of farms in tlie Corn Belt and component 

regions : 1954 57 

81. — Average value of farm products sold, by economic class of farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 58 

82.' — Percentage composition of value of farm products sold on commercial farms in the Corn Belt: 1954 68 

83. — Percent of commercial farms reporting specified expenditures, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954- 59 

84. — Percent of commercial farms reporting specified expenditures, in the Corn Belt: 1954 60 

85. — Average expenditure per commercial farm reporting each specified expense in the Corn Belt: 1954 60 

86. — Total specified expenditures on conmiercial farms in the Corn Belt: 1954 60 

87. — Percentage composition of total specified expenditures on commercial farms, by economic class, in the Corn Belt: 1954 61 

88. — Average of total specified expenditures per commercial farm in the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954 61 

89. — Estimated interest charge for capital investment per commercial farm, by major categories of investment, by type of farm, in 

the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954 62 

90. — Estimated interest charge for capital investment per farm, by major categories of investment, by type and economic class of 

farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 62 

91. — Production of corn, soybeans, cattle, and hogs in relation to acreage of farmland, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and com- 
ponent regions: 1954 63 

92. — Production of corn, soybeans, cattle, and hogs in relation to acreage of farmland, by type and economic class of farm, in the 

Corn Belt: 1954 64 

93. — Specified resource inputs and value of farm products sold in relation to land acreage, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and 

component regions : 1954 64 

94.' — Specified resource inputs and value of farn\ products sold in relation to land acreage, by type and economic class of farm, in the 

Corn Belt: 1954 65 

95. — Specified resources used and value of farm products sold, per man-equivalent of labor, by type of farm, in the Corn Belt and 

component regions : 1954 66 

96. — Specified resources used and value of farm products sold, per man-equivalent of labor, by type and economic class of farm, in 

the Corn Belt: 1954 66 

97. — Value of farm products sold per thousand dollars capital investment and per dollar of specified expenses, by type of farm, in 

the Corn Belt and component regions: 1954 67 

98. — Value of farm products sold per thousand dollars of capital investment and per dollar of specified expenses, by type and 

economic class of farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 67 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 

Edwin G. Strand 



INTRODUCTION 



Corn is the leading farm crop in the United States. It is the most 
widely grown American crop — Ijeing produced to some extent in 
every State. Its total acreage in the United States in 1954 was 
78.1 million acres (fig. 1). This was 23.4 percent of the total 
cropland harvested. Generally, about 85 to 90 percent of the 
acreage is harvested for grain; the remainder is used for silage or 
fodder. The average annual production in 1950-56 was 2.8 billion 
bushels harvested for grain. This is a larger number of bushels 
than the total production of wheat or any other grain crop. Most 
of the corn (about 90 percent of the annual crop) is used for live- 
stock feed. In recent years corn has accounted for about 60 per- 
cent of the total pounds of concentrates fed to livestock in this 
country. Other uses of corn are for starch, sirup, sugar, corn meal, 
grits, alcohol and distilled spirits, breakfast foods, other processed 
products, and direct consumption in farm liouseholds. 

The major region of corn production is in the North Central 
States, centering on Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. The five States — 
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri — are generally known 
as the Corn Belt States. But (he boundaries of the principal 
corn-producing region extend beyond the boundaries of the five- 
State area, particularly to the north and west. Actually, in recent 
years Minnesota has outranked Ohio and Missouri in bushels as 
well as in acreage of corn harvested for grain, and Nebraska has 
outranked Missouri in five of the last seven years. There has been 
an expansion of corn production to the north and west during the 
last two decades. 



CORN FOR ALL PURPOSES 

ACREAGE. 1954 




Figure 1. 



THE CORN BELT 



The area of the Corn Belt as the term is used in the present report 
was determined by grouping together the economic subregions in 
which corn production was most concentrated and in which there 
was a preponderance of cash-grain and livestock types of farms, 
which are the characteristic types of farms in the Corn Belt.' The 
location and boundaries of the Corn Belt are shown in figure 2. 

The Corn Belt, as here outHned, is a somewhat larger region 
than the five Corn Belt States and coincides rather closely with 
the Corn Belt as outlined on the map of generalized types of farm- 
ing in the United States (.10).^ The Corn Belt is bordered on the 
north by the Lake States dairy region and on the south by the 
principal region of general farming. It is bordered on the east by 
dairy and general-farming regions. On the southwest it merges 
into the winter-wheat region and on the northwest it tapers off 
into the spring-wheat region. 

The Corn Belt includes farming areas in 12 States, but only 
Iowa is entirely within the area, and only small parts of Wisconsin, 
Michigan, and Kentucky are included. It stretches across a 
distance of about 1,000 miles from east to west and approximately 
600 miles from south to north. 





THE 


CORN BELT 




f 


1 


^^ 




■ 


rH_ 


(A/^ 






. r^n^ 


X 7 r 


\ 


u 


^i.S' 


^i^ 


\ 

■ 48 V 


y^ 


'H* 


^P 


y 



^— zatK BELT BOUNMRl XZ2 NOBTMERN COfW BEa 

STATE eaWOftfft 133 WESTERN CO«N BELT 

CU EASTERN conn BELT ^2 SOUTHERN dOON BELT 

I ; CEMTRit caw «LI 



1 ccpwntoit a cohmeikc 



Figure 2. 



' Economic subregions are groups of State economic areas that arc generally similar as to economic features reflected in crop and livestock production and types of farming. State 
economic areas are groups of counties that are relatively homogeneous as to agricultural characteristics. Many of the data obtained in the 1950 Census of Agriculture and in the 1954 
Census of Agriculture were grouped and tabulated by State economic areas and by economic subregions. 

2 Italic numbers in parentheses refer to literature cited on p. 68. 



42.3024 — 57 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



The Corn Belt has fertile soils and a climate that is well suited to 
corn production. The topography and soils are far from uniform 
throughout the region. The annual precipitation varies consider- 
ably from east to west and to a lesser extent from south to north. 
There is also a difference from north to south of about 60 days in 
the length of the frost-free growing season. But the soils in general, 
and the prevailing moisture, the growing season, and other climatic 
characteristics are such that the tolerance limits for growth and 
development of the corn plant are not frequently or seriously 
exceeded. The natural environment is such that relatively large 
yields of corn are generally produced and this is generally the crop 
that brings the highest return to the farmer. Consequently, within 
the limits imposed by considerations of soil management, disease 
and insect control, and labor distribution — which are reflected in 
cropping sequences and crop rotations — corn generally is given the 
highest priority in choice of cropland by farmers of this region. 
Among the other principal crops grown in the Corn Belt, soybeans, 
oats, and forage crops are of major importance. 

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CORN BELT IN AMERICAN 
AGRICULTURE 

A large proportion of the total agricultural production in the 
United States comes from Corn Belt farms (table 1). In 1954, 
28.2 percent of the total value of all farm products sold by com- 
mercial farms in the United States was accounted for by the Corn 
Belt. The value of farm products sold is not as great on a per 
square mile basis in the Corn Belt as it is in some other areas, but 
the Corn Belt is the largest area of relatively high value of products 
sold per unit of land (fig. 3). 

Table L — Total Quantities of Specified Items for Com- 
mercial Farms in the United States and in the Corn Belt, 
Showing Percentage of United States Total in the Corn 
Belt: 1954 



Farms number, - 

Land in farms acres-. 

Total cropland acres. - 

Cropland harvested acres. - 

Value of land and buildings 

millions of dollars.. 

Cash-grain farms number.. 

Livestock farms ' number.. 

Com harvested for grain ..acres.. 

bushels.. 
Oats threshed or combined. ..acres.. 

bushels.. 
Wheat threshed or combined acres.. 

bushels.. 
Soybeans harvested for beans ..acres.. 

bushels.. 

All cattle and calves.. number.. 

All hogs and pigs number.- 

Chickcns 4 months old and over. ..number.. 

Chicken eggs sold.. dozens.. 

All sheep number. - 

Tractors _ .number.. 

Motortrucks number. 

Automobiles. _ _number.- 

Grain combines number. 

Cornpickers. number. 

Pick-up hay balers number. 

Field forage harvesters number. 

Expenditures for hired labor dollars. 

Expenditures for gasoline and other petro- 
leum fuel and oil dollars. 

Expend iturcs for commercial fertilizer dollars. . 

Value of all farm products sold dollars.. 

Value of all crops sold dollars. 

Value of livestock and livestock products 
sold dollars. 



United States 



3, 327, 889 

1, 032, 493. 362 

431,684,954 

321, 686, 617 



85,728 

637, 974 
694, 888 

63,394,112 

2, 647, 823. 464 

37, 312, 820 

1.301,891,795 

60, 682, 348 

900,761,498 

16, 189, 376 

322, 324, 603 

88, 843, 964 

64, 963, 546 

340, 361, 825 

2, 663, 617, 214 

30, 176, 438 

4, 127, 764 

2, 223, 443 

3, 199, 713 
950, 341 
674, 182 
431,944 
197, 628 

2, 214, 180, 127 

1, 312, 642, 381 
1,023,734,322 

24, 298, 622, 950 
11,955,045,301 

12, 223, 361, 628 



Com Belt i 



Quantity 



797, 269 
170, 307, 389 
121,764,844 
104, 377, 594 



26, 741 

264, 646 
326, 662 

39, 358, 892 

1,833,167,374 

19, 343, 798 

701,664.728 

8, 283, 849 

209, 310, 647 

11,773,052 

260, 452, 066 

22, 907, 609 

36, 663, 945 

110,368,868 

836, 540, 713 

6, 423, 998 

1, 329, 422 
448, 746 
912, 208 
410, 200 
477,416 
149, 026 
61,289 

237, 678, 756 

385,651,642 
259,212,808 

6,867,668.641 
2, 479, 682, 916 

4, 374, 939, 331 



Percent of 
United 
States 



24.0 
16.6 
28.2 
32.6 



40.2 
47.0 

62.1 
71.9 
51.8 
53.9 
16.4 
23.2 
72.7 



25.8 
66.7 
32.4 
31.4 
18.0 

32.2 
20.2 
28.6 
43.2 
70.8 
34.5 
31.0 

10.7 

29.4 
25.3 

28.2 
20.7 



■^jL^_^ 


VALUE OF ALL FARM PRODUCTS SOLD 




[^^T'^Tp--- 


~~-— .— 


DOLLARS 1954 


r\ 


//V. 




ir>^^ 


rxi/ 


/^S-J^* "7 


r~~~. 


.•Tr 




\ / ^^'^"y'-'^-uJ 




"-"?= 




W\ 1 


r~^ 




-/m 


^ t~ 




%}A \ / 


- 


, 


' %. 


ijw \ r~~^ — ~~ 


— — _^ 


v' „-- 


-— -^^ 


^1* N 1 




r^^ 


~^,^y 


■^^ 


■4 






UNITED STATES TOTAL 




/ -X ^. 


>\ 


$24,644, «77,087 








^. i/^ 1 DOT • $ 2^0.000 


v\ 






^ T ICOJjn ^MT MSIS) 


M 


OS»«.TW«,»t<™i.t. 






) -"'axtiu Of mt CENSUS 



Figure 3. 

The concentration of value of crops sold in the Corn Belt is 
not as great as the concentration of value of livestock and live- 
stock products sold (figs. 4 and 5) because most of the cropland is 
used for growing feed crops and most of the feed produced is fed 
to livestock in the region. Commercial farms in the Corn Belt 
had 66.7 percent of all the hogs and pigs and 25.8 percent of all 
the cattle and calves on commercial farms in the United States 
in 1954 (table 1). 

Approximately two-thirds of the acreage of corn harvested for 
grain on commercial farms in the United States in 1954 was in 
the Corn Belt and the production on this acreage was 71.9 percent 
of all the corn produced on commercial farms in the Nation. Corn 
Belt farms also had 72.7 percent of the total acreage of soybeans 



VALUE OF ALL CROPS SOLD 

DOLLARS. 1954 




IMTED STATES TOTAL 
$12,221,625,069 



i wwwTiicwT Of caniuKt 



Figure 4. 



1 The Corn Belt is comprised of the following 16 economic subregions: 47, 48, 61, 62, 
63, 69, 70, 71, 72. 84. 85, 86, 87, 92, and 93. 

2 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



WV... VALUE OF LIVESTOCK AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCTS OTHER THAN 
^'^^-- DAIRY AND POULTRY SOLD 

DOLLARS. 1954 




Figure 5. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



harvested for beans on all commercial farms in the country and 
produced 80.8 percent of the soybean crop. 

Approximately half of the cash-grain farms and livestock farms 
(other than dairy and poultry farms) in the United States in 195-1 
were in the Corn Belt. The total number of commercial farms in 
the Corn Belt was 797,259, or 24 percent of the United States 
total. Most of the labor on these farms was that of the operator 
and members of his family. Commercial farms in the Corn Belt 
accounted for only 10.7 percent of the total expenditure for hired 
labor on all commercial farms in the United States. 

The Corn Belt as defined for this study and report contains a 
larger area of farmland and more commercial farms than are 
included in the five States usually referred to as the Corn Belt 
States (table 2). The Corn Belt as here defined also includes a 
larger proportion of the United States total production of prin- 
cipal Corn Belt crops and livestock. This results from the fact 
that the 15 economic subregious comprising the Corn Belt as 
presently outlined contain a total area somewhat larger than the 
area of the five Corn Belt States. Furthermore, the portions of 
Missouri, Indiana, and Ohio included in the economic subregions 
used here contain a larger proportion of commercial farms and of 
commercial farm acreage than do the excluded portions of those 
States. The economic subregions selected for inclusion in the 
Corn Belt were those in which types of farms and kinds of crops 
and livestock characteristic of the Corn Belt were relatively 
most concentrated. 



Table 2. — Comparison of Totals for Five Corn Belt States 
AND THE Corn Belt as Used in the Present Study, With 
Respect to Specified Items for Commercial Farms: 1954 



Item 


Percentage of United 
States total accounted 
for by— 




5 Corn Belt 
States ' 


The Com 
Belt' 




21.2 
12.4 
38.1 
39.4 

67.4 
38.0 
18.0 
72.6 

21.9 
58.7 


24.0 




16.6 


Number of casli-grain farms 


49.2 




47.0 


Bushels of corn harvested for grain 


71.9 




63.9 




23.2 




80.8 


Number of cattle and calves sold alive - . - 


28.2 




69.7 







1 Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. 

J Total of 15 economic subregions. See footnote to table 1. 

a Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



REGIONS WITHIN THE CORN BELT 

Because of the vast size of the Corn Belt and because of some 
rather important differences in the natural features and conditions 
of production from one part to another, the Corn Belt has been 
divided into five parts, or regions, for the purpose of this analysis 
and report (fig. 2). 

Eastern Corn Belt. — The soils of mcst of the Eastern Corn Belt 
were developed under forest conditions. They usually are acid, 
with a rather thin organic top layer, and they are inherently less 
productive than the prairie soils to the west. The southwestern 
part of this region includes some hilly and relatively less produc- 
tive land in addition to the alluvial soils of the Wabash and Ohio 
River Valleys. The average annual precipitation ranges from 45 
inches in the southwestern to .35 inches in the northern part of 
the region. Commercial fertilizer and lime are used more exten- 
sively than in any other part of the Corn Belt. 



More than half the commercial farms in this region have less 
than 140 acres of land. This region has been settled and farmed 
longer than most of the rest of the Corn Belt. Corn is the leading 
crop but occupies a smaller percentage of the cropland than in 
areas to the west. Wheat is grown on a larger percenta^je of the 
farms than in any other region of the Corn Belt. Soybeans for 
beans are grown to the largest extent in the northeastern and 
northwestern part.s of this region. 

Central Corn Belt. — The topography of most of the Central 
Corn Belt is level to slightly rolling. The most level portions 
are in east-central Illinois and in central Iowa. These are the 
areas where cash-grain farming is most concentrated. The 
central portion of this long diagonal region contains the largest 
proportion of rolling land, and in this area live.stock farms pre- 
dominate. 

The soils over most of this region were developed from prairie 
vegetation and are deep, fertile, and rich in organic matter. 
Average annual precipitation ranges from 40 inches in the ea.stern 
end to 25 inches in the extreme western part, and it is usually well 
distributed through the growing season. The principal crops are 
corn, soybeans, and oats. Yields of crops are relatively high. 

Northern Corn Belt. — In the Northern Corn Belt the topography 
and rainfall vary considerably from east to west. In the eastern 
part the rainfall is greater and the topography is rougher than in 
the western part. Soil erosion is a relatively serious problem in the 
eastern part, and some soils in this area have difficult drainage 
problems. Forage production, and hence beef and dairy produc- 
tion, are much more important in the eastern than in the western 
part of the region. Cash-grain farms are relatively most numerous 
in the western part where tlie land is more level and rainfall is more 
limiting for forage production. The princii^al crops, in addition 
to forage, are corn, oats, and soybeans. 

The primary limiting factor determining the northern boundary 
of the Corn Belt is the length of the growing season. Develop- 
ment of hybrid corn adapted to a shorter growing season has 
pushed the northern boundary of the Corn Belt northward during 
the last 20 years. 

Western Corn Belt. — The western boundary of the Corn Belt 
is determined principally by the supply of moisture, and par- 
ticularly by the amount of rainfall during the growing season. 
Westward from the zone of 25 inches of average annual precipita- 
tion, corn rapidly loses its dominant position in the cropping 
system, and is replaced by grain sorghum and wheat. The Corn 
Belt merges into the regions of wheat production and range live- 
stock. Wheat is able to make better use of fall, winter, and spring 
moisture, and coming to maturity in the hot and relatively dry 
part of the summer, it has a relative advantage over corn at the 
western border of the Corn Belt. In the western part of the 
Western Corn Belt, because of the uncertainty of rainfall, farmers 
tend to understock with livestock to avoid the hazard of insufficient 
feed in dry years. Therefore, more corn is sold from this part of 
the region than in the eastern half of the Western Corn Belt. 

In the loessial or wind-blown soil areas bordering the Missouri 
River most of the land is characteristically rolling, and a large 
percentage can be used only for permanent pasture. To protect 
the cropland from .soil erosion and to maintain organic matter in 
the soil, relatively large acreages of grasses and legumes are grown. 
Cattle feeding and hog production are important in this part of the 
region. 

Southern Corn Belt. — Land in the Southern Corn Belt is gener- 
ally more rolling and most of the soils are less productive than in 
the areas bordering it on the north, east, and west. This region 
has large areas of silt loam soils that have heavy subsoils or clay- 
pans, making for difficult soil drainage and interfering with root 
development and growth of crops. The scarcity of good cropland 
is reflected in the relatively large acreage of pasture and the 



8 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



relatively small supply of concentrates. Beef cattle grazing is 
therefore more important here than in the Central Corn Belt and 
there is less emphasis on cattle fattening and on hog production. 
The average annual precipitation is about equal to that in the 
Eastern Corn Belt. The growing season in the southern part 
of the region is longer than in most of the rest of the Corn Belt. 

Table 3. — Percent of Commercial Farms Reporting Speci- 
fied Uses of Cropland and Specified Crops Harvested, in 
THE Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 



Item 



Cropland harvested 

Cropland used only for pasture... 

Cropland not harvested and not 

pastured- ._ -. 

Corn for all purposes. 

Corn harvested tor grain 

Wheat threshed or combined 

Oats threshed or combined 

Barley threshed or combined 

Rye threshed or combined 

Soybeans for aU purposes 

Soybeans harvested for beans — 

Soybeans cut for hay 

Red clover seed harvested 



Com 
Belt, 
total 



Percent 
95.8 
61.0 

18.0 

91.0 
87.6 
35.6 
72.4 
5.6 

4.3 

42.3 

41.2 

2.0 

4.1 



Eastern 
Com 
Belt 



Percent 
93.9 
6L9 

16.9 

89.6 
89.0 
63.2 
6L3 
S.2 

8.2 
5L4 
50.1 
2.9 
7.5 



Central 
Corn 
Belt 



Percent 
96.9 
67.7 

9.7 

94.8 
94.3 
13.9 
85.7 
1.4 

1.9 

66.2 
65.8 
0.9 
3.6 



North- 
era 
Corn 
Belt 



Percent 
97.9 
63.7 

12.8 

96.1 
94.2 

7.5 
90.8 

7.6 

1.4 

40.2 

39.8 

0.6 

2.7 



West- 
em 
Com 
Belt 



Percent 
96.6 
38.6 

26.3 

91.3 
89.2 
37.2 
72.6 
4.8 

3.6 

16.1 

15.7 

0.3 

1.6 



South- 
em 
Corn 
Belt 



Percent 
94.8 
44.6 

22.0 

85.2 
72.6 
45.4 
67.6 
10.0 

6.6 

49.9 

46.8 

5.4 

4.7 



PERCENT OF TOTAL LAND AREA IN FARMS, 1954 




FlOURE 6. 



Because of the quality of soil in much of the region, however, 
average yields of crops are relatively low. The principal grain 
crops are corn, soybeans, oats, and wheat. 

A number of differences among the five regions within the Corn 
Belt are reflected by the data on percent of farmers reporting 
specified uses of cropland and specified crops harvested (table 3). 
There are rather significant differences, for example, in the pro- 
portion of farmers reporting cropland used only for pasture, 
cropland not harvested and not pastured, wheat threshed or 
combined, and soybeans harvested for beans. 

In most of the Western and Northern Corn Belt, 90 percent or 
more of the total land area is in farms (fig. 6). In the Eastern 
and Southern Corn Belt there are many counties in which up to 
one-third of the land is in nonfarm uses. 

TYPES OF FARMING 

The differences in types of farming that occur from farm to farm 
as weU as between localities in the Corn Belt are explained basically 
by differences in soils and topographic features. The kind and 
degree of livestock production is determined in large part by the 
production of forage on a farm. On farms with rich, black, level 
soils, relatively little of the cropland is used for growing forage. 
On such farms, where practically all of the land is plowable, where 
there is relatively little soil erosion, and where yield response to 
forages in crop rotations is not great, corn and soybeans make 
up the largest proportion of the crops grown. Such farms are 
generally either cash-grain farms, hog farms, or beef-fattening 
farms. Cattle for fattening on these farms are generally calves 
or young cattle bought from the western range region. On farms 
where more of the land is used for pasture or hay, beef breeding 
lierds are kept, but where little or no forage is available on the farm, 
the cattle-feeding operation is generally based on the purchase 
of young cattle for fattening. 

Farms having rolling land and soils that show benefit from 
forages in the rotation are likely to have some cattle production, 
such as pasturing of young feeder cattle for a few months on 
pasture and then fattening them for market. The beef enter- 
prise is found frequently on farms along with hog production, 
as the two enterprises are complementary to some extent. 

Farms with a considerable acreage of easily erodible land which 
is kept in pasture or hay meadow, are likely to keep roughage- 
consuming Hvestock such as beef breeding herds or dairy cattle. 
The farms with large and regular production of hay and pasture 
are generally dairy farms. Some also raise beef cattle or sheep. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 
FARM ORGANIZATION IN THE CORN BELT 



TYPE OF FARM 

In the classification of farms by typo, farms that have a high 
degree of uniformity as to kinds and combinations of crops and 
livestock produced were grouped together. This grouping, or 
classifying, was done on the basis of value of farm products sold. 
Type of farm was determined on the basis of the proportion of 
total sales of farm products accounted for by a particular product 
or closely related group of products, such as dairy products, 
livestock other than dairy and poultry products, or grain crops. 

In order for a farm to be classified as a particular type, the sales 
or expected sales of the particular product or group of products 
had to represent 50 percent or more of the total value of products 
sold. For example, farms on which the sale of grain (corn, 
soybeans, small grains, sorghums, field beans, field peas, and 
cowpeas) accounted for 50 percent or more of the total value of 
farm products sold were classified as cash-grain farms. 

The distribution of commercial farms and of cash-grain farms, 
livestock farms, and general farms in the United States is shown 
in figures 7, 8, 9, and 10. 

The number of farms in each of the principal types found in the 
Corn Belt and in the United States as a whole in 1954 are shown in 
table 4. Of the 3,327,617 commercirl farms, a total of 797,259, or 
24 percent, were in the Corn Belt. The percentage of commercial 
farms accounted for by the Corn Belt is higher than the percentage 
of all farms included in this region because the number of farms 
other than commercial is relatively greater in parts of the United 
States outside of the Corn Belt. Of aU the cash-grain farms in 
the United States, 49.2 percent were in the Corn Belt. Outside 
of this belt the principal regions of cash-grain farms were the 



COMMERCIAL FARMS 

NUMBER, 1954 




Figure 



f^ 




CASH -GRAIN FARMS 

NUMBER. 195a 


A 






7- 




/ 




^~~i~%^ 


\ 


jfXr^ ul 


■^ 






^ 


' ' ^^A^^^--&- 




vs 


— ^^ 


1 ^ 






'\\\r 


LWTEO STATES TCfTAL 
537.638 


^Vf" 


DOT- 100 FA 




ai MnSTH 


U.T a COMItl 


■^ 




-."W.-4Wt ■■■ BU.(W C '■< «»VS 1 



Figure 8. 



Great Plains and other wheat-producing regions. The Corn 
Belt had 47 percent of all livestock farms (other than dairy and 
poultry) in the Nation. The Corn Belt is by far the leading region 
in frequency of occurrence of livestock farms. Outside of it 
other regions where livestock farms are a dominant type are the 
Great Plains and the general region between the Corn Belt and 
the Cotton Belt. Although dairying is not a principal enterprise 
e.xcept on a relatively few farms in this region, the Corn Belt 
accounted for 11.8 percent of all the dairy farms in the United 
States. Dairy farms predominate in the region to the north of 
the belt. Spreading out from the region of the Lake States, 
dairying is also of importance in border areas extending into the 
Eastern Corn Belt and along its northern edge. Farms that 
could not be classified into a more definite type because no product 
or group of products accounted for as much as 50 percent of the 
total value of farm products sold were classified as general farms. 
The general farms here are mainly characterized by a combina- 
tion of cash-grain and livestock production with both of these 
enterprises of primary' importance. A number of general farnis 
may be considered as a transitional type, that is, a group falling 
between the cash-grain farms and the livestock farms. Many of 
them might be counted as cash-grain farms in a particular year 
and as livestock farms in another year, depending on crop condi- 
tions or on relative prices of grains and of livestock. Between 
1950 and 1954 cash-grain farms increased in number while livestock 
farms decreased rather generally throughout the region. In 1950, 
the number of livestock farms exceeded the number of cash-grain 
farms in Ohio, Indiana, and Minnesota, but in 1954 the cash-grain 
farms were considerably more numerous than the livestock farms 
in these States. 



F 


^7r-- 


LIVESTOCK FARMS * 

NUMBER. 1954 


J> 


/ . 


N$ 


~S ^^^W 




f 


Ml^ki 


■^TTf^ 




\J^_^ 


^ ^-— W^ 


"Tjy 




UMTED STATES TOTAL '^ 


vr^ ■ ■ ^i^ 


^"^^^^^^KX 




•OlMEfi TM 


694,636 

AN OAIRT AND POULTRT 


\ f lOOT'lOO FARMS \ ^ 




us OC««T- 


hT Of C0»«»LI 


V lip 'rtJ>4->» ■"■'» 


t(Ltu 0» I"*. CtKSUB 



Figure 9. 



GENERAL FARMS 

NUMBER, «54 




Figure 10. 



10 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Table 4. — Number of Farms in the United States and in 
THE Corn Belt, by Broad Economic Class and Type of Farm : 
1954 



Broad economic class and type of farm 



All farms 

Commercial farms, total '... 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms ^ 

Dairy farms 

Poultry farms 

General farms 

Other field-crop farms.. 
Other commercial farms 

Other farms, total _. 

Part-time farms 

Residential farms 

Abnormal farms 



United 

States, 

total 



4, 783, 021 

3, 327, 617 

537,838 
694, 636 
548,763 
154, 257 
347, 466 
367, 771 
676, 886 

1,455,404 

574, 575 

878, 136 

2,693 



Cora Belt 



Total 



927, 921 

797, 259 

264,546 

326, 662 

64,774 

19, 204 

113,335 

3,212 

5,526 

130, 662 

62, 017 

68,205 

440 



Percent of 
United 
States 



19.4 

24.0 
49.2 
47.0 
11.8 
12.4 
32.6 
0.9 
0.8 

9.0 
10.8 

7.8 
16.3 



* The numbers of commercial farms in the United States, listed in this table, are 
estimated from a sample of farms on the State economic area basis. Numbers of com- 
mercial farms in the United States by economic class within types are estimated from 
a sample of farms on the economic subreglon basis. These different methods of estima- 
tion explain the slight differences in numbers of cash-grain farms and of livestock 
larms shown for the United States in this table and tables 1, 9, and 10. 

3 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

3 Cotton farms, vegetable farms, fruit-and-nut farms, and miscellaneous farms. 



A main explanation for the shift in numbers of these two types 
of farms in this period is provided by the inde.x numbers of prices 
received by farmers. While the index number of prices received 
for all farm products sold in the United States was practically the 
same in 1954 as in 1949, the index number of prices received for all 
crops in 1954 was 108 percent of that in 1949. Prices of feed 
grains and hay in 1954 were 116 percent of the 1949 level. On the 
other hand, the index number of prices received for meat animals 
and for livestock and livestock products was 94 (1949=100). 

In the Corn Belt, in 1954, 85.9 percent of all farms were classified 
as commercial farms compared with 69.6 percent in the United 
States (table 5). Cash-grain farms numbered 28.5 percent and 
livestock farms 35.2 percent of all Corn Belt farms. Dairy farms 
and poultry farms comprised 7 percent and 2.1 percent, respec- 
tively, of the total. As with cash-grain farms and livestock farms, 
the Corn Belt had a relatively greater concentration of general 
farms than the United States as a whole. In the Corn Belt, as 



Table 5. — Percent of Farms in Each Broad Economic Class 
AND Type, for the United States and Corn Belt: 1954 



Broad economic class and type of farm 


United 
States 


Corn Belt 


All farms 


Percent 
100.0 

69.6 
U.2 
14.5 
11.5 
3.2 
7.3 
7.7 
14.2 

30.4 
12.0 
18.4 
0.1 


Percent 
100.0 


Commercial farms, total... 


85.9 




28.6 


Livestock farms '... 


35.2 




7.0 


Poultry farms 


2.1 




12.2 


Other field-crop farms 


0.3 




0.6 


Other farms, total.. 


14. 1 




6.7 


Residential farms 


7 4 




(Z) 







Z 0.05 percent or less. 

' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

2 Cotton farms, vegetable farms, fruit-and-nut farms, and miscellaneous farms. 



outlined for the present study, the proportions of cash-grain and 
livestock farms are higher than in most of the individual five Corn 
Belt States. The percentage distribution of cash-grain, livestock, 
and other types of farms in States of the North Central Region of 
the country is shown in table 6. 

Cash-grain farms account for 11.2 percent of all the farms in the 
United States and 49.2 percent of these are in the Corn Belt. The 
percentage of farms classified as cash-grain farms in the Corn Belt 
as a whole was higher than the proportions shown for Iowa and 

Table 6. — Number of All Commercial Farms, and Number 
AND Percentage Distribution of Specified Types of Farms, 
IN the United States and Specified States: 1954 



state 



United States.. 

Ohio 

Indiana 

Illinois 

Iowa 

Missouri 

Minnesota 

Wisconsin 

Michigan 

North Dakota... 

South Dakota 

Nebraska 

Kansas 

Kentucky 



Commercial farms by type 



Total 
com- 
mercial 



3, 327, 617 

123, 457 
115, 182 
147, 801 
178,238 
140,307 

146. 527 
135,064 
98, 161 

59,546 
59,796 
94,153 
102, 526 

122, 784 



Cash- 
grain 



Live- 
stock 



Other 
types 



537, 838 694, 636 2, 095. 143 



35,626: 28.714 
39,395 36,496 
69, 296 1 43,830 
40, 097 104, 799 
20,465 59.821 



33, 956 
3,904 

21,441 

38. 992| 
18, 322 

34. 613 
54,174 

4,932 



28,040 
10, 327 
10, 400 

7,740 
28.081 
42. 127 
25, 410 



59, 117 
39, 291 
34,675 
33, 342 
60,021 

84,531 
120,833 
66,320 

12,814 
13, 393 
17,413 
22,942 



16,090 101,762 



Percentage distribution 



Total 
com- 
mer- 
cial 
farms 



100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100-0 

100.0 
100.0 

100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 



Cash- 
grain 
farms 



16.2 

28.9 
34.2 

46.9 
22.5 
14.6 

23.2 
2.9 
21.8 

65.5 
30.6 
36.8 
52.8 

4.0 



Live- 
stock 
farms ' 



Other 
types 



20.9 

23.3 
31.7 

29.7; 
68.8 
42.6 

19.1 
7.6 
10.6 

13.0 
47.0 
44.7 
24.8 

13.1 



63.0 

47.9 
34.1 
23.5 

18.7 
42.8 

67.7 
89.5 
67.6 

21.6 
22.4 
18.5 
22.4 

82.9 



' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

Table 7- — Number of Farms in Each Region of the Corn 
Belt, and Percentage Distribution Among Regions, by 
Broad Economic Class and Type of Farm: 1954 



Broad economic class and 
type of farm 


Corn 
Belt, 
total 


Eastera 
Cora 
Belt 


Central 
Com 
Belt 


North- 
em 
Corn 
Belt 


West- 
em 
Com 
Belt 


South- 
era 

Corn 
Belt 


Number of farms: 

All farms 


927,921 

797, 2.19 

264, 540 

326, 662 

64,774 

19, 204 

113,335 

3,212 

5,526 

130,662 

62,017 

68, 205 

440 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 


221,145 

177,280 

68,300 

51,480 

18,145 

6,698 

27,934 

2,423 

2,300 

43,865 

22, 352 

21,366 

147 

2.3.8 
22.2 
25.8 
15.8 
28.0 
34.9 
24.6 
75.4 
41.6 

33.6 
36.0 
31.3 
33.4 


182, 559 

167,845 

69, 037 

72,070 

5, 661 

2,882 

17,354 

72 

769 

14,714 

6,970 

7,655 

89 

19.7 
21.1 
26.1 
22.1 

8.7 
15.0 
15.3 

2.2 
13.9 

11.3 
11.2 
11.2 
20.2 


114,627 

108, .569 

27, 469 

40,608 

17, 128 

2,329 

20,442 

205 

388 

6,058 

3,170 

2, 805 

83 

12.4 
13.6 
10.4 
12.4 
26.4 
12.1 
18.0 
6.4 
7.0 

4.6 
5.1 
4.1 
18.9 


205, 897 

186,176 

58, 874 

91,. 367 

7,744 

2,538 

24, 599 

337 

717 

19, 721 

9,161 

10,470 

90 

22.2 
23.4 
22.3 
28.0 
12.0 
13.2 
21.7 
10.5 
13.0 

15.1 
14.8 
1.5.4 
20.5 


203, 693 


Commercial farms, total 


157,389 
40,866 


Livestock farms ' 


71, 137 




16,096 


Poultry farms - 


4,767 




23,006 


Other field-crop farms 

Other commercial farms '.. 


175 
1,352 

46,304 


Part-time farms 


20,364 




25,909 


Abnormal farms . 


31 


Percentage distribution of farms : 


22.0 


Commercial farms, total 


19.7 
15.4 


Livestock farms ' 


21.8 




24.8 




24.8 




20.3 


Other field-crop farms 

Other commercial farms '.. 


6.4 
24.5 

36.4 


Part-time farms 


32.8 




38.0 


Abnormal farms 


7.0 







1 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

■ Cotton farms, vegetable farms, fruit-and-nut farms, and miscellaneous farms. 



CASH'GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



11 



Missouri but not as high as the proportions in Indiana and Illinois 
where cash-grain farming is more densely concentrated. Livestock 
farms constitute the largest single type of commercial farm in 
this country as a whole. This group made up 14.5 percent of 
the United States total of all farms. Of this number (694,636), 
47 percent were in the Corn Belt (table 4). Livestock farms are 
the most common type in the belt, accounting for 35.2 percent of 
all the farms (table 5). This percentage for the total region is 
larger than that in the individual States of Ohio, Indiana, and 
Illinois, but is exceeded by the proportions in the States of Iowa 
and Missouri where livestock farms are relatively more prevalent 
than cash-grain farms. 

The number of farms of each principal type in the different 
region.s of the Corn Belt are shown in table 7. In terms of total 
number of commercial farms, the Western Corn Belt is the largest 
of the five regions into which the Corn Belt has been divided for 
the analysis on which this report is based. The order of rank of 
the other regions on the basis of numbers of commercial farms is as 
follows: Eastern, Central, Southern, and Northern Corn Belt. 
Most of the cash-grain farms are in the central and eastern regions. 
Livestock farms are the most concentrated in the western, central, 
and southern regions. Dairy farms are most numerous in the 
eastern and northern parts of the Corn Belt in the areas which 
are, in effect, a continuation of the Nation's major dairy regions 
of the Lake States and the Northeast. Most of the poultry 
farms in the Corn Belt are found in the eastern and southern 
parts of the region. 

General farms are widely distributed throughout the Corn Belt 
but are relatively least numerous in the Central Corn Belt where 
farming tends to be more specialized (table 8). There are rela- 

Table 8. — Percentage Distribution of Commerical Farms, 
BY Type of Farm, in the Corn Belt and Component Regions: 
1954 



Type of farm 



All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestoct farms i 

Dairy farms- - _ 

Poultry farms 

General farms 

Other field-crop farms 

Other commercial farms 2 



Com 
Belt, 
total 



100.0 
33.2 
41.0 
8.1 
2.4 
14.2 
0.4 
0.7 



Eastern 
Com 
Belt 



100.0 

38.5 

29.0 

10.2 

3.8 

15.8 

1.4 

1.3 



Central 
Com 
Belt 



100.0 
41.1 
42.9 
3.4 
1.7 
10.3 
(Z) 
0.5 



North- 
em 
Corn 
Belt 



100.0 
25.3 
37.4 
16.8 
2.1 
18.8 
0.2 
0.4 



West- 
em 

Corn 
Belt 



100.0 
31.6 
49.0 
4.2 
1.4 
13.2 
0.2 
0.4 



South- 
ern 
Cora 
Belt 



100.0 
26.0 
45.2 
10.2 
3.0 
14.6 
0.1 
0.9 



Z 0.05 percent or less. 

' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

' Cotton farms, vegetable farms, fruit-and-nut farms, and miscellaneous farms. 

tively few farms of other types such as vegetable farms, fruit-and- 
nut farms, and horticultural-specialty farms. The few cotton 
farms are found in the southern part of Illinois and in southeastern 
Missouri. All of the.se minor types together accounted for less 
than 1 percent of all farms in the Corn Belt. In general, farming 
is more diversified in the southern and eastern parts of the belt 
than in other parts. This results mainly from the greater varia- 
tion in topography and soil conditions in the eastern and southern 
portions. 

Most of the other farms (noncommercial) are also found in the 
eastern and southern parts. Residential farms made up 12.7 per- 
cent of all farms in the Southern Corn Belt, but only 2.4 percent in 
the Northern Corn Belt. For the other regions of the Corn Belt 
the proportion of residential farms was between these two figures. 
Part-time farms made up 10 percent of all farms in both the 
Eastern and Southern Corn Belt. Part-time and residential 
farms are operated principally by families who have other occupa- 
tions or sources of income or by retired farmers or other retired 
or semiretired persons. 



ECONOMIC CLASS OF FARM 

In this report, much of the analysis relates to economic classes 
of farms. The criteria used in determining economic class of farm 
are given in various reports of the 1954 Census of Agriculture. 

Criteria for the economic classes of farms are as follows: 





Criteria 


Class 


Value of farm products 
sold 


Other 


COM.MERCIAL 
FA R.MS 

Class I 


$25,000 or more... 

$10,000 to $24,999 

$5,000 to $9,999 

$2,500 to $4,999 

$1,200 to $2,499 

$250 to $1,199 


None. 


Class II 




Class III 


None. 


Class IV 




Class V 


None. 


Class VI 


Less than 100 days of off-farm work 
by operator, and income of oper- 
ator and members of his family 
from nonfarm sources less than 
value of all farm products sold. 

lOOdaysor more of oil-farm work by 


OTHER FAR.MS 
Part-time 


$250 to $1,199 


Residential 




operator or income of farm oper- 
ator and members of his family 
from nonfarm sources greater 
tlian value of all farm products 
sold. 




Not a criterion 






farms, grazmg associations, com- 
munity-project farms, etc. 



The distribution of cash-grain and livestock farms by economic 
class in the different regions of the Corn Belt are shown in tables 
9 and 10. The largest economic class in terms of numbers of 
farms included in the Corn Belt as a whole is Class III. These 
are farms with a value of sales of agricultural products, in 1954, 
amounting to $5,000 and up to $9,999. This group makes up 
34.1 percent of all cash-grain farms in the Corn Belt and is fairly 
typical of the family-sized farms in this region. Also numerous 
are farms in Economic Classes II and IV. These farms are similar 
to the Class III farms, except that the Class II farms are some- 
what larger, having total value of agricultural products sold from 
$10,000 to $25,000, and the Class IV farms are smaller, having 
sales ranging from $2,500 up to $4,999. These three groups ac- 
count for 81 percent of all the cash-grain farms in the Corn Belt. 



Table 9. — Number and Percentage Distribution of CasH' 
Grain Farms, by Economic Class, in the United States and 
Corn Belt: 1954 



Item and economic 
class of farm 


United 
States 


Corn Belt 


Total 


East- 
ern 


Cen- 
tral 


North- 
ern 


West- 
ern 


South- 
ern 


Number of farms: 
Cash-t^rnin farms, total 


537,974 
21,995 
110..W7 
160,337 
129,042 
82. 789 
33.214 

100.0 
4.1 

20.6 
29.8 
24.0 
15.4 
6.2 


264,546 
6,496 
62.004 
90. 110 
62.045 
33,944 
9,947 

100.0 
2.5 
23.4 
34.1 
23.5 
12.8 
3.8 


68,300 
1,613 
14,060 
20,448 
17,363 
11,965 
2,851 

100.0 
2.4 
20.6 
29.9 
25.4 
17.5 
4.2 


69,037 
3,221 
26,210 
24, 920 
10.151 
3,520 
1,015 

100.0 
4.7 
38.0 
36.1 
14.7 
6.1 
1.5 


27,469 
406 
6,704 
11,302 
6,011 
2,391 
655 

100.0 

1.5 

24.4 

41.1 

21.9 

8.7 

2.4 


58,874 
867 
10,808 
22,252 
16,496 
6,718 
1,733 

100.0 
1.5 
18.4 
.37.8 
28.0 
11.4 
2.9 


40,866 
389 


11 


4,222 


III 

IV 

V 

VI 

Percentage distribution 
of farms : 
Ciish-grain farms, total 

Class I..- 

11.. 

Ill . . 


11,188 
12,024 
9, 3.M 
3,693 

100.0 

1.0 

10.3 

27.4 


IV 


29.4 


V 


22.9 


VI -. 


9.0 







12 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Class III farms are the largest group in the Eastern, Northern, 
and Western Corn Belt, but in the Central Corn Belt Class II 
farms are most numerous and in the Southern Corn Belt the 
largest group is Class IV. This is true for both cash-grain and 
livestock types of farms. The smallest farms, those in Economic 
Classes V and VI, comprise 16.6 percent of all cash-grain farms 
and 18 percent of all livestock farms in the Corn Belt, compared 
with 21.6 percent of the cash-grain farms and 34.3 percent of the 
livestock farms in the United States as a whole. Within the 
Corn Belt these two low-income classes of farms account for the 
largest percentages of all commercial farms in the eastern and 
southern parts of the region. 

Table 10. — Number and Percentage Distribution of Live' 
STOCK Other Than Dairy and Poultry Farms, by Economic 
Class, in the United States and Corn Belt: 1954 



Item and economic 
class of farm 



Number of farms : 
Total livestock other 
than dairy and 

poultry 

Class I 

II 

III 

IV 

V 

VI 

Percentage distribution 
of farms : 
Total livestock other 
than dairy and 

poultry 

Class I 

II 

III 

IV 

V 

VI 



United 
States 



694,888 
39, 835 
121,287 
152,413 
143,072 
1.37,490 
100, 791 



100.0 
6.7 
17.5 
21.9 
20.6 
19.8 
14.5 



Corn Belt 



Total 



326, 662 
22, 708 
83, 655 
94, 638 
66. 978 
40, 000 
18,883 



100.0 
7.0 
25.6 
28.9 
20.6 
12.2 
5.8 



Ea,st- 
ern 



51,480 
3,463 
12,916 
13,414 
10, 469 
7,782 
3,436 



100.0 
6.7 
25.1 
26.1 
20.3 
16.1 
6.7 



Cen- 
tral 



72, 070 
8,091 
26, 355 
20, 693 
10, 331 
4,785 
1,815 



100.0 
11.2 
36.6 
28.7 
14.3 
0.6 
2.5 



North- 
ern 



40. OOS 
2,604 
11,925 
14, 803 
7,900 
2,496 
880 



100.0 

6.4 

29.4 

36. 5 

19.6 

6.1 

2.2 



West- 
ern 



91.367 
6,739 
22,920 
28,060 
19, 725 
9,861 
4,072 



100.0 
7.4 
25.1 
30.7 
21.6 
10.8 
4.5 



South- 
ern 



71,137 
1,811 
9,439 
17,668 
18, 653 
16,086 
8,680 



100.0 
2.5 
13.3 
24.7 
26.1 
21.2 
12.2 



Table 11. — Specified Items for Commerclal Farms: Percent- 
age Distribution Among Principal Types of Farms, in the 
Corn Belt: 1954 



Item 



All com- 
mercial 
farms 



Farms number.. 

All land in farms.. acres.. 

Total cropland acres.. 

Total woodland acres. . 

Pasture other than cropland or woodland 
acres.. 

Other land '. acres. . 

Total pasture acres.. 

Cropland harvested acres. . 

Com harvested for grain... bushels.. 

Soybeans harvested for beans bushels.. 

Horses and mules number.. 

All cattle and calves number.. 

Cows, including heifers that have calved 

number.. 

Milk cows numlter.. 

All hogs and pigs number.. 

Chickens 4 months old and over number.. 

All sheep number.. 

Ewes number.. 

Value of all farm products sold .dollars,. 

Value of all crops sold dollars.. 

Value of all livestock and livestock products 
sold... dollars— 



Percent 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 

100.0 



Cash- 
grain 
farms 



PcTceiU 
33.2 
35.1 
38.9 
27.0 

21.3 
35.5 

22.1 
40.5 
41.1 
66.9 

21.0 
10.4 

21.9 
20.4 
13.8 
25.8 
19.7 
22.5 

30.3 
63.6 



Live- 
stock 
farms ' 



Percent 
41.0 
44.3 
41.0 
46.7 

69.4 
41.6 

56.6 
39.7 
41.7 
20.3 

62.1 
69.0 

60.6 
34.5 
69.2 
41.0 
64.5 
58.9 

49.6 
18.1 

67.4 



Other 
commer- 
cial 
farms - 



Percenl 
25.8 
20.6 

20. 1 
26.3 

19.3 
23.0 

21.4 
19.8 
17.2 
12.8 

26.9 

21. 6 

27. 6 
45.1 
17.0 
33.2 
15.8 
18.6 

20.2 
18.3 



' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

i Dairy farms, poultry farms, general farms, other field-crop farms, cotton farms, 
vegetable farms, truit-and-nut farms, and miscellaneous farms. 
3 House lots, roads, wasteland, etc. 



The percentage distribution of farms, of cropland, and of other 
land in farms among cash-grain farms, livestock farms, and other 
commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 is shown in table 11. 
Also shown in this table are the percentage distributions of pro- 
duction of .specified crops, numbers of livestock, and value of 
products sold among these groups of farms. 

SIZE OF FARM 

The great bulk of the farms in the Corn Belt have between 70 
and 500 acres of land (table 12). Farms in this range of acreage 
comprised 84 jiercent of all commercial farms in the belt. About 
11 percent of the farms are smaller than 70 acres and less than 5 
percent are larger than 500 acres. In the United States as a whole 

9 percent of the farms are units of 500 acres or more, but 29 per- 
cent have less than 70 acres of land. 

The average size of all farms in the United States in 1954 was 
242 acres. In most of the counties in the eastern half of the 
country the average size was less than 200 acres (fig. 11). In the 
western half of the country there were large areas where the 
average size was 2,500 acres or over. In the majority of counties 
in the Corn Belt the average size of farm was between 100 and 200 
acres. 

The average size of commercial farms in the United States was 
310 acres. The average for the United States, of course, includes 
the large farms and ranches of the western United States as well as 
smaU farms in the eastern part of the country. Two out of every 

10 commercial farms in the Corn Belt were approximate!}' quarter- 
section units, or in the range of 140 to 179 acres (table 13). Four 
farms out of every 10 had from 180 to 499 acres of land. The 
average size of all commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 was 
214 acres. 

Small farms are relatively most numerous in the eastern part of 
the Corn Belt and large farms in the western part. In the Eastern 
Corn Belt, more than half of the commercial farms are smaller 
than 140 acres, but in the Western Corn Belt such farms make up 
only a fifth of the total. On the other hand, farms of 260 acres or 
larger comprise only a seventh of the total in the Eastern Corn 
Belt but account for more than a third of the total in the Western 

Table 12. — Number and Percentage of Commercial Farms 
IN Specified Acreage Size Groups, for the United States 
AND Corn Belt Regions : 1954 



Size group 



Number of farms ; 

Total all sizes 

Under 30 acres.. 
30 to 69 acres. . . 
70 to 139 acres.. 
140 to 179 acres. 

180 to 259 acres. 
260 to 499 acres. 
500 to 999 acres. 
1 ,000 acres and 
over 

Percentage of farms ; 

Total all sizes 

Under 30 acres. 
30 to 69 acres... 
70 to 139 acres.. 
140 to 179 acres. 

180 to 259 acres. 
260 to 499 acres. 
500 to 999 acres. 
1 ,000 acres and 
over 



United 
States 



3, 327, 889 
490, 798 
483, 281 
760, 816 
403, 032 

422, 131 
451,921 
182, 560 

127, 361 



100.0 
14.9 
14.5 
22.9 
12.1 



12.7 
13.6 
6.6 

3.8 



Corn Belt 



Total 



797, 259 
35, 301 
66, 000 
179, 264 
167, 208 

170. 717 
161,925 
31,664 

6,190 



100.0 

4.4 

6.9 

22.5 

19.7 

21.4 
20.3 
4.0 



Eastern 



177, 280 
14, 082 
26,440 
57, 934 
25, 628 

29, 086 
2!,4ia 
3,281 



100.0 
7.9 
14.4 

32.7 
14.5 

16.4 
12.1 
1.9 

0.2 



Central 



167, 845 

6, 696 

7,656 

34, 608 

41,322 

41, 032 

32, 593 

3,862 



100.0 

3.9 

4.6 

20.6 

24.6 

24.4 
19.4 
2.3 



North- 
ern 



108, 569 
3,070 
4,126 
23, 765 
25,860 

26, 431 

22,011 

3,016 

300 



100.0 
2.8 
3.8 
21.9 
23.8 

24.3 
20.3 
2.8 



West- 
ern 



186, 176 

5,973 

0. 757 

24, 813 

38,661 

39, 877 
61. 586 
14, 275 

4,234 



100.0 
3.2 
3.6 
13.3 
20.8 

21.4 

27.7 
7.7 



South- 
em 



157, 389 

6,680 

11,021 

38, 254 

25,737 

34,291 

34, 272 

7,220 



100.0 

3.5 

7.0 

24.3 

16.4 

21.8 

21.8 

4.6 

0.6 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



13 



AVERAGE SIZE OF FARMS. 1954 

(COUNTY UNIT BASIS) 




LEGEND 

ACRES 
I i UNDER 50 ^§^ 500 TO 999 

I • l 60 TO 99 ^S IDOO TO 2.499 

^Z3i00TCi99 BB aSOO AND OVER 

JSgsf 200 TO 499 
• no farms 

us DCPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 



Table 13, 



Figure 11. 

-Percentage Distribution of Commercial Farms Among Acreage Size Groups, in the Corn Belt and Component 

Regions: 1954 



Region and type of farm 



Total Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms ', 

Eastern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms '. 

Central Com Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms '. 

Northern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms '. 

Western Cora Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms '. 

Southern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms i. 



Acreage size group 



All sizes 


Under 30 
acres 


30 to 69 
acres 


70 to 139 
acres 


140 to 179 
acres 


180 to 269 
acres 


260 to 499 
acres 


600 to 999 
acres 


1,000 acres 
and over 


Percent 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 


Percent 
4,4 
1.3 
4,0 


Percent 
6,9 
6,4 
5,9 


Percent 
22,5 
21,2 
21,0 


Percent 
19,7 
19 3 
20,3 


Percent 
21.4 

22.6 
21.8 


Percent 
20.3 
24,0 
20.9 


Percent 
4.0 
4,5 
4,8 


Percent 
0.8 
0.7 
1.2 


100.0 
100.0 
100,0 


7.9 
2.5 
8,3 


14.4 
14,3 
13,3 


32 7 

33 2 
30,6 


14,6 
14,9 
14,7 


16.4 
18,0 
M7. 1 


12,1 
14,5 
13 6 


1.9 
2.4 
2,3 


0.2 
0.3 

0.3 


100,0 
100,0 
100,0 


3,9 
1,1 
3 7 


4,6 
3,6 

4,7 


20.6 
18,6 
21,1 


24,6 
23,7 
25.3 


24,4 
26,6 
24.4 


19,4 
23,4 
18.3 


2.3 
2.9 
2.3 


0.2 
0.2 
0.2 


100,0 
100,0 
100,0 


2,8 
1,2 
2,4 


3,8 
3 7 
3,2 


21,9 
17,6 
22,0 


23,8 
22,3 
24,5 


24.3 
24.0 
24.2 


20.3 
27,0 
20,2 


2.8 
3,7 
3,1 


0.3 
0.4 
0.4 


100,0 
100,0 
100,0 


3 2 
0,7 
3 2 


3 6 
2,2 
3,8 


13 3 
11.7 
13,7 


20.8 
19,6 
20,9 


21.4 
21.9 
21,3 


27,7 
33,1 
25.8 


7,7 
8.9 
8.1 


2.3 
1.8 
3.1 


100,0 
100,0 
100.0 


3 5 
1,0 
3.2 


7.0 
S.6 
6.2 


24,3 
21,8 
23,0 


16.4 
16.6 
16.1 


21,8 
23.8 
21.9 


21.8 
25.8 
23.0 


4.6 
5.0 

6,8 


0.6 
0.6 
0.9 



' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



423024 — 57 



14 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Corn Belt. In the Central and Northern Corn Belt approximately 
a half of the farms are in the range of 140 to 260 acres, with nearly 
a fourth of the farms larger than 260 acres and the remaining 
approximate one-fourth of the farms smaller than 140 acres. 

For the Corn Belt, in 1954, the average size of cash-grain farms 
was 226 acres and the average size of livestock farms was 231 
acres. For the United States as a whole the average acreages for 
these types were 380 acres and 731 acres, respectively. The 
considerably larger average sizes of these types for the United 
States results from the inclusion of large wheat farms of the Great 
Plains and the Northwest in the cash-grain group and the inclusion 
of the large western ranches in the livestock group. The relatively 
moderate average sizes of these two types of farms in the Corn 
Belt are rather striking in comparison with the averages for the 
United States. Of interest also is the close similarity in average 
size of cash-grain farms and livestock farms in the Corn Belt. 

The similarity in size of these two types of farms in terms of 
acreage is portrayed by the data in table 13. The similarity in 
distribution of acreage size groups in the two ty])es is strongly 
consistent in all the regions of the Corn Belt. The only minor 
difference apparent is that a slightly larger proportion of the live- 
stock farms than of the cash-grain farms is comjiosed of farms 
under 30 acres in size, but the actual number of farms of either 
type in this small size group is relatively few (table 14). 



The distribution of farms in each economic class among the 
specified acreage size groups is shown for cash-grain farms and 
livestock farms in tables 14 and 15. The acreage size groupings 
are the same as those of the foregoing tables. The 140 to 179 acre 
group is centered around and includes all the quarter-section 
(160 acres) farms, which were the t\'pical homestead size. The 
gradual trend to larger acreages per farm is reflected in the fact 
that 46.5 percent of the commercial farms are larger than the 
quarter-section unit, while only 33.8 percent of the farms are 
smaller than 140 acres. It also reflects the fact that forces inducing 
farmers to enlarge their farms have been greater or more prevalent 
than the forces tending toward dividing the farmland among the 
heirs of successive generations as has been the case in many of the 
older countries of the world. 

The progress of mechanization which has brought about the 
possibility of one operator handling an increasing acreage of crop- 
land with less labor is the most influential factor making for farm 
enlargement, but it is significant also that there has been no great 
increase in the number of farms of 500 acres and over. This group 
is still a small percentage of the total. The typical farm in the 
Corn Belt is the family-size farm, although its acreage is now 
generally larger than it was in homestead j^ears or even only a 
generation ago. 



Table 14. — Number of Commercial Farms in Each Acreage Size Group, in the Corn Belt; 1954 





Number of farms by acreage size group 


Type and economic class of farm 


AU sizes 


Under 30 
acres 


30 to 69 
acres 


70 to 139 
acres 


140 to 179 
acres 


180 to 259 
acres 


260 to 499 
acres 


600 to 999 
acres 


1,000 acres 
and over 




797, 269 

264. 646 
6.496 
62. 004 
90, 110 
62,046 
33,944 
9,947 

326, 662 
22, 708 
83, 555 
94,538 
66, 978 
40,000 
18,883 


35, 301 
3,650 


55,000 
16, 815 


179, 264 

66,164 
20 
825 
14, 472 
23,877 
13, 785 
3,186 

68,762 
603 

7.183 
20.421 
21.110 
13, 670 

5,875 


157. 208 

50. 961 

45 

6,445 

24, 466 

13, 970 
5,125 

910 

66, 260 

1.793 

17.951 

24. 242 

14. 491 
5,942 
1,841 


170, 717 

59,800 
125 
19. 476 
25.620 
11. 105 
2,995 
480 

71. 261 
4.309 
25. 556 
23,594 
11,824 
4,557 
1,421 


161. 925 

63.650 

2.966 

29. 110 

22. 071 

7,611 

1,527 

266 

68,320 

10,563 

25, 489 

19, 067 

9,627 

2,961 

723 


31,654 

11,940 

2.687 

6,385 

2,886 

837 

130 

16 

15, 670 
4,078 
5,373 
3,775 
1,828 
631 
85 


6,190 


Cash-grain farms: 

Total . . 


1,766 


Class I... 


653 


II 




16 

305 

4,470 

9,015 

3,010 

19,424 
78 
355 
1,756 
5,320 
7.370 
4,646 


749 


III... 


10 

116 

1,350 

2,076 

13,068 

123 

295 

820 

2,590 

4,880 

4,360 


280 


IV 


60 


V 


17 


VI.. 


7 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total 


3,497 


Class I... 


1, 261 


II 


1,353 


III... 


873 


IV 


288 


V... 


89 


VI... 


33 







' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



Table 15. — Percentage of Commercial Farms in Each Acreage Size Group, in the Corn Belt: 1954 











Acreage size group 








Type and economic class of farm 


AU sizes 


Under 30 
acres 


30 to 69 
acres 


70 to 139 
acres 


140 to 179 
acres 


180 to 269 
acres 


260 to 499 
acres 


600 to 999 
acres 


1,000 acres 
and over 




Percent 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 


Percent 
4.4 

1.3 


Percent 
6.9 

6.4 


Percent 
22.6 

21.2 
0.3 
1.3 
16,1 
38.6 
40,6 
32.0 

21.0 
2.2 
8.6 
21.6 
31.6 
34.2 
31.1 


Percent 
19.7 

19.3 
0.7 
10.4 
27.1 
22.6 
15.1 
9.1 

20 3 
7.9 
21.6 
26.6 
21.6 
14.9 
9.7 


Percent 
21.4 

22.6 

1.9 

31.4 

28.4 

17.9 

8.8 

4.8 

21.8 
19.0 
30.6 
25.0 
17.7 
11.4 
7.6 


Percent 
20 3 

24.0 
45.7 
46.9 
24.6 
12.3 
4.5 
2.7 

20 9 
46.6 
30.5 
20.2 
14.2 
7.4 
3.8 


Percent 
4.0 

4.5 
41.4 
8.7 
3.2 
1.3 
0.4 
0.2 

4.8 
18.0 
6.4 
4.0 
2.7 
1.3 
0.6 


Percent 
0.8 


Cash-grain farms: 

Total.. 


0.7 


Class I... 


10.1 


II 




(Z) 

0.3 

7.2 

26.6 

30 3 

5.9 
0.3 
0.4 
1.9 
7.9 
18.4 
24.1 


1.2 


Ill 


(Z) 
0.2 
4.0 
20.9 

4.0 
0.6 
0.4 
0.9 
3.9 
12.2 
23.1 


0.3 


IV 


1 


v... 


1 


VI 


1 


Livestoclt farms: ' 

Total 


1.2 


Class I 


5 6 


II 


1.6 


III 


0.9 


TV 


0.4 


V 


0.2 


VI 


0.2 







Z Less than 0.05 percent. 

1 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



15 



Table 16. — Percentage Distribution of Types and Economic Classes of Farms in Each Acreage Size Group, in the Corn Belt: 

1954 





Acreage size group 


Typo and economic class of farm 


All sizes 


Under 30 
acres 


30 to 69 
acres 


70 to 139 
acres 


140 to 179 
acres 


180 to 259 
acres 


260 to 499 
acres 


500 to 999 
acres 


1,000 acres 
and over 




Percent 
100.0 

33.2 
0.8 
7.8 

11.3 
7.8 
4.3 
1.2 

41.0 
2.8 
10.5 
11.9 
8.4 
5.0 
2.4 


Percent 
100.0 

10.1 


Percent 
100.0 

30.6 


Percent 
100. 

31.3 

(Z) 
0.5 
8.1 
13.3 

7.7 
1.8 

38.4 
0.3 
4.0 
11.4 
11.8 
7.6 
3.3 


Percent 
100.0 

32.4 
(Z) 
4.1 
15.6 
8.9 
3.3 
0.6 

42.1 
1.1 
11.4 
15.4 
9.2 
3.8 
1.2 


Percent 
100.0 

35.0 
0, 1 
11.4 
15.0 
6.5 
1.8 
0.3 

41.7 
2.6 
16.0 
13.8 
6.9 
2.7 
0.8 


Percent 
100.0 

39.2 
1.8 
18.0 
13.6 
4.7 
0.9 
0.2 

42,2 
6.5 
15.7 
11.8 
6.9 
1.8 
0.4 


Percent 
100.0 

37.7 
8.5 
17.0 
9.1 
2.6 
0.4 
(Z) 

49.5 
12.9 
17.0 
11.9 
5.8 
1.7 
0.^ 


Percent 
ion. 


Cash.graln farms: 

Total - 

Class I 


28.5 
10.5 


11 -. 


■" (Zf" 
0.3 
3.8 
5.9 

37.0 
0.3 
0.8 
2.3 
7.3 
13.8 
124 


(Z)' 
0.6 
8.1 
IB. 4 
5.5 

3,';. 3 
0.1 
0.6 
3.2 
9.7 

13.4 
8.3 


12.1 


Ill 

IV ... 


4.5 
l.U 


V -.- - 


0.3 


VI 


0.1 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total 


63.0 


Class I... - 

II - 

III 

IV 


20.4 
21.9 
14.1 

4.7 


V 


1.4 


VI 


0.5 



Z 0.05 percent or less. 

' Livestock other than dairy ami poultry farms. 



A larger proportion of the Classes I, II, and III farms of the 
cash-grain type are in the 260 acres or over acreage groups than is 
true for Classes I, II, and III livestock farms. Also, a larger 
proportion of the cash-grain farms in Economic Classes IV, V, 
and VI are in the acreage sizes under 140 acre.s than is true for the 
livestock farms. This indicates that livestock production on the 
land has the effect of increasing the farm incomes from given 
acreages. In other words, in spite of the differences that may 
exist in the quality of land on cash-grain farms as compared with 
livestock farms, the cash-grain farms generally require larger 
acreages than livestock farms in this region to produce the same 
levels of value of products sold. 

The distribution of economic classes of farms within acreage 
size groups is shown for cash-grain and livestock farms in table 16. 
Economic class is positively correlated with acreage size among 
both cash-grain and livestock farms. As the acreage of land in 
the farm is increased, the proportion of higher income economic 
classes of farms in these acreage sizes is increased. Among farms 
of less than 140 acres there are significantly fewer Classes I, II, 
and III cash-grain farms than there are livestock farms. Rela- 
tively few of the farms of large acreage are in the low income eco- 
nomic classes (Classes IV, V, and VI). However, there are 
enough exceptions to the positive correlation of economic class 
with acreage to indicate that a relatively large acreage is not 
enough alone to guarantee a large farm income. On the other 
hand, the occurrence of a significant number of Economic Classes 
II and III farms among farms of less than 140 acres indicates that 
a larger than average acreage of land is not always necessary for 
a moderately high level of farm sales if production can be increased 
by application of other inputs. 

RESIDENCE AND TENURE OF FARM OPERATORS 

Residence. — Practically all farmers in the Corn Belt live on the 
farms they operate. In the 1954 Census about 99 percent of the 
commercial farm operators gave information as to their residence. 
Only 4.9 percent of these reported their residence as not on the 
farm they operated (table 17). About 92 percent of all cash- 
grain farmers and about 96 percent of all livestock farmers in the 
Corn Belt had their homes on the farms they operated. 

The proportion of operators not residing on their farms was 
highest among cash-grain farmers, ranging from 6.5 percent in 
the Eastern Corn Belt to 10.1 percent in the Western Corn Belt. 
The proportion of livestock farm operators not residing on their 
farms ranged from 2.9 percent in the Northern Corn Belt to 4.5 
percent in the Southern Corn Belt. 



Most farmers prefer to live on the farm they operate and find 
it advantageous from the economic standpoint. This is especially 
true for farmers who have livestock. As pointed out above, 
most of the cash-grain farms, as well as the livestock farms, have 
some livestock. On most of these farms, livestock of one or more 
kinds are on hand throughout the year. Livestock require at- 
tention every day, or practically every day, especially during the 
winter months and during periods such as at farrowing, calving, 
and lambing time. During the pasture season, beef cattle and 
sheep on pasture often need relatively little attention, but usually 
during this season there is work with other livestock, for example, 
milk cows, pigs, and chickens, or cattle or hogs being fattened, 
if such livestock are present, in addition to work on crops. 

On farms where all crops are sold and no livestock are kept, 
there is little or no work on the farm during the winter months. 
Operators of such farms sometimes find it desirable or advan- 
tageous to reside with their families in a nearby village or town. 
Some operators, usually beginning farmers or single men, live 
on other farms, generally with relatives, near the farms they 
operate. 

Residence on the farm operated was most common on Economic 
Class II and Class 111 farms of both cash-grain and livestock 
types (table 18). About 94 percent of the Class II cash-grain 
farm operators and 97 percent of the Class II and Class III 
livestock farm operators lived on their farms. The proportion of 
operators not residing on the farm operated was greatest among 
Class V and Class VI cash-grain farms (11.9 percent and 10.5 
percent). Among livestock farms, Class I farms had the largest 
percentage of operators not residing on the farm operated (6.1 
percent) . 

Tenure. — In 1954 approximately two-thirds of the commercial 
farms in the Corn Belt were operated by owners and part owners, 
about one-thii'd were operated by tenants, and less than 1 percent 
were operated by managers. Full owners own all the land they 
operate. Part owners operate land that they own and also 
additional land that they rent from others. Managers operate 
farms for others and are paid a wage or salary for their services. 
Tenants rent from others or work on shares for others, all the 
land they operate. 

Tenancy is generally greater among cash-grain farm operators 
than among livestock farm operators. This was true in every 
region of the Corn Belt in 1954 (table 17). That year, in the 
Corn Belt as a whole, 40.6 percent of the cash-grain farm operators 
and 29.4 percent of the livestock farm operators were tenants, 



16 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Table 17- — Number and Percentage of Commercial Farm Operators, by Residence and Tenure Status, by Type of Farm, in 

THE Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 





All farm 
operators 


Operators reporting 
as to residence 


Percentage distribution of operators 
reporting residence 


Operators by tenure status 


Region and type of farm 


Total op- 
erators 
reporting 


Percent 

of all 

farm 

operators 


Total op- 
erators 
reporting 


Residing 
on farm 
operated 


Not re- 
siding 
on farm 
operated 


Owners, 

part 
owners, 

and 
managers 


Tenants 




Total 


Percent 

ofaU 
operators 


Total Com Belt: 

All commercial farms _. 


797, 269 
264, 646 
326, 662 

177, 280 
68,300 
51, 480 

167, 845 
69,037 
72, 070 

108, 569 
27,469 
40, 608 

186, 176 
58,874 
91,367 

167, 389 
40,866 
71, 137 


787, 169 
260, 679 
322, 993 

174, 680 
67, 112 
60,835 

166, 473 
67,949 
71, 185 

107,458 
27, 131 
40,264 

183,903 
58,103 
90,311 

156, 755 
40, 384 
70,398 


98.7 
98.6 
98.9 

98.5 
98.3 
98.7 

98.6 
98.4 
98.8 

99.0 
98.8 
99.2 

98.8 
98.7 
98.8 

99.0 
98.8 
99.0 


100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 

100.0 

100.0 

100.0 
100.0 

100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 


96.1 
91.9 
96.2 

96.6 
93.6 
96.2 

96.1 
92.4 
96.9 

96.9 
91.5 
97.1 

94.1 
89.9 
96.7 

95.2 
91.9 

95.5 


4.9 
8.1 
3.8 

4.5 
6.6 
3.8 

4.9 
7.6 
3.1 

4.1 
8.5 
2.9 

6.9 
10.1 
4.3 

4.8 
8.1 
4.5 


633, 860 
167, 130 
230, 648 

132, 892 
49,080 
38,676 

91,809 
31,628 
44,292 

70,563 
17, 146 
27,339 

114,396 
30,980 
61, 143 

124,200 
28,396 
69, 199 


263,399 
107, 416 
96, 114 

44,388 
19,220 
12,905 

76,036 
37,609 
27,778 

38,006 
10,323 
13, 269 

71,780 
27,894 
30,224 

33, 189 
12, 470 
11,938 


33.0 




40.6 


Livestocic farms ' - .. - 


29.4 


Eastern Com Belt: 

All commercial farms 


25.0 


Casli-grain farms 


28.1 




25.1 


Central Cora Belt: 

All commercial farms - . - 


46.3 




54.3 


Livestoclc farms ' 


38.6 


Northem Cora Belt: 

All commercial farms 


35.0 




37.6 


Livestock farms ' - 


32.7 


Western Cora Belt: 


38.6 


Casti-grain farms . . . 


47.4 




33.1 


Soutbern Cora Belt: 


21 1 


Cash-grain farms 


30.6 




16.8 







' Llvestocli other than dairy and poultry farms. 

Table 18. — Number and Percentage of Commercial Farm Operators, by Residence and Tenure Status, by Type and Economic 

Class of Farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 



:l ■ ■[ 


All farm 
operators 


Operators reporting 
as to residence 


Percentage distribution of operators 
reporting residence 


Operators by tenure status 


Type and economic class of farm 


Total op- 
erators 
reporting 


Percent 

of all 

farm 

operators 


Total op- 
erators 
reporting 


Residing 
on farm 
operated 


Not re- 
siding 
on farm 
operated 


Owners, 

part 
owners, 

and 
managers 


Tenants 




Total 


Percent 

of all 
operators 


All commercial farms 


797, 259 

264,546 
6,496 
62,004 
90, 110 
62,045 
33,944 
9,947 

326, 662 
22, 708 
83, 666 
94,638 
66, 978 
40,000 
18,883 


787, 169 

260, 679 
6,389 
61,162 
89, 003 
61, 176 
33, 223 
9,727 

322, 993 
22, 489 
82. 758 
93. 638 
66,211 
39,370 
18,627 


98.7 

98.5 
9S.4 
98.6 
98.8 
98.6 
97.9 
97.8 

98.9 
99.0 
99.0 
99.0 
98.9 
98.4 
98.1 


100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 

100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100. 


95.1 

91.9 
91.5 
94.3 
93.2 
90.1 
88.1 
89.6 

96.2 
93.9 
96.6 
96.8 
96.1 
95.6 
95.5 


4.9 

8.1 
8.6 
5.7 
6.8 
9.9 
11.9 
10.5 

3.8 
6.1 
3.4 
3.2 
3.9 
4.4 
4.5 


533, 860 

157. 130 
3,828 
29. 675 
49, 180 
40,764 
26. 601 
8,082 

230,648 
13, 743 
48. 345 
64, 038 
52, 876 
34,564 
16, 982 


263,399 

107, 416 

2,668 

32 329 

40, 930 

21,281 

8,343 

1,866 

96, 114 

8,966 

35, 210 

30, 500 

14, 102 

6,436 

1,901 


33.0 


Cash-grain farms: 

Total 


40.6 


Class I. 


41.1 


11 


52.1 


Ill 


46.4 


IV 


34.3 


V 


24.6 


VI 


18.7 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total 


29.4 


Class I 


39.5 


II 


42.1 


Ill 


32.3 


IV 


21. 1 


V 


13.6 


VI 


10.1 







' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



The proportion of tenancy was greatest among cash-grain fanners 
in the Central Corn Belt (54.3 percent), and smallest among 
livestock farmers in the Southern Corn Belt (16.8 percent). 

For both cash-grain and livestock farms, the percentage of 
tenancy in 1954 was significantly greater among the Economic 
Classes I, II, and III farms than among the Economic Classes 
IV, V, and VI farms (table 18). However, among cash-grain 
farms, a larger percentage of the Class II and Class III farms 
than of the Class I farms were tenant-operated. On livestock 
farms, also, the percentage of tenancy on Class II farms was 
somewhat greater than that on Class I farms. The proportion 
of operators who were tenants was smallest among the Class VI 



livestock farms (10.1 percent), and greatest among the Cla.ss II 
cash-grain farms (52.1 percent). 

The distribution of farms operated by full owners, part owners, 
and tenants in the United States in 1954 is shown in figures 12, 
13, and 14. Farms operated by tenants are relatively most 
numerous in the South, in the Corn Belt, and in the Great Plains. 
Within the Corn Belt, the proportion of all farms operated by 
tenants is greatest in the central and western regions. In the 
Corn Belt as a whole, there were approximately a third as many 
part owners as full owners operating commercial farms in 1954. 

Some tenant farmers manage their farms independently, while 
other tenants are closely supervised by their landlords. Some 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



17 



FARMS OPERATED BY FULL OMCRS 

NUMBER. 1954 




FlI.lRK 12. 



FARMS OPERATED BY PART OWNERS 

NUMBER. 1954 




Figure 13. 

tenants provide all operating inputs or expenses; on other rented 
farms operating expenses are shared by the tenant and landlord. 
A large proportion of the tenants in the Corn Belt are related to 
their landlords. In 1954, from 20 to 50 percent of the tenants 
throughout most of the Corn Belt were related to their landlords. 
In most of the counties in the Corn Belt in 1950, tenant operators 
had been on their farms for an average of 5 to 9 years. 



FARMS OPERATED BY ALL TENANTS 

NUMBER. 1954 




Figure 14. 

The most common types of leases or methods of renting farm- 
land in the Corn Belt are share-cash, livestock-share, crop-share, 
and cash. Tenants operating under share-cash rental agreements 
pay a part of the rent as a share of the crops or livestock products 
and also pay a part of the rent in cash. Livestock-share tenants 
pay a specified share of the hvestock or livestock products as rent. 
They may or may not also pay a share of the crops. Livestock- 
share leases are much used on farms where the tenant wants to 
raise livestock but is unable to finance a full livestock program. 
Crop-share tenants pay a specified share of the crops as rent. 
Under the crop-share rent method, crop risks are shared with 
the landlord. This method of renting is often attractive to tenants 
who have relatively little capital. Cash tenants pay a cash 
rental, such as $10 an acre or $1,000 for use of the whole farm. 
The cash-rent method is best suited to tenants who are well 
supplied with livestock, equipment, and working capital. The 
average cash rent per acre paid by cash tenants on commercial 
farms in Indiana, lUinois, and Iowa in 1954 was $8.34, $10.50, 
and $9.80, respectively. 

The most frequent method of renting farms in the United States 
in 1954 is shown in figure 15. The share-cash method was most 
prevalent in the Central and Western Corn Belt, while the share 
(mainly livestock share) agreement was the principal method in 
the Eastern Corn Belt. In the Northern and Southern Corn 
Belt, share-cash and share methods of rental were both quite 
common. There were relatively few cash tenants on Corn Belt 
farms, and most of them were in the Central and Northern regions. 



18 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



MOST FREQUENT METHOD OF RENTING FARMS. 1954 

(COUNTY UNIT BASIS) 




LEGEND 

I I CASH ^a SHARE 

tgffifi-l SHARE-CASH ^H croppers"- 
* INCLUDES COUNTIES WITH NO TENANTS OR 

WITH ONLY OTHER aND UNSPECIFIED TENANTS 
11 CROPPERS SHOWN SEPARATELY ONLY FOR THE 

SOUTH AND 7 COUNTIES IN SOUTHEASTERN MISSOURI 

US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 



BUREAU OF THE CENSUS 



Figure 15. 



TYPE OF LAND 

There were 170,307,389 acres of land in commercial farms in 
the Corn Belt in 1954. This was 16.5 percent of all the land in 
commercial farms in the United States. In the Corn Belt as a 
whole, 71.5 percent of the land in commercial farms was cropland 
(table 19). The percentage of farmland that was cropland was 
greatest in the Central Corn Belt (82.4 percent), and smallest in 
the Southern Corn Belt (60.4 percent). Only 7.3 percent of the 
land in commercial farms in the Corn Belt was woodland. The 

Table 19. — Acreage of All Land in Commercial Farms and 
Distribution of Land Among Broad Types or Uses, in the 
Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 











Pasture 






.\I1 land in 




Wood- 


other tlian 


All otiier 


Region 


larm.s 


Cropland ' 


land 2 


cropland 
or wood- 
land 


land ' 


Acres : 












Corn Bflt, total 


170. 307. 389 


121, 754, 844 


12, 431, 256 


26, 652, 363 


9, 468, 926 


Eastern Corn Belt 


27, 289. 899 


21, 269, 820 


2, 843, 843 


1, 470, 262 


1, 705, 968 


Central Corn Belt 


33, 369, 798 


27, 495, 167 


1, 827, 655 


2, 309, 351 


1, 737, 635 


Nortliem Corn Belt.., 


22, 396, 741 


16, 858, 271 


1, 549, 604 


2, 378, 999 


1, 609, 867 


Western Corn Belt 


.53, 216, 015 


35,661,412 


1, 315, 027 


13, 760, 078 


2, 579, 498 


Southern Corn Belt... 


34, 034, 936 


20, 570, 178 


4, 895, 127 


6, 733, 673 


1, 835, 958 


Percent of farmland : 












Corn Belt, total 


100. 


71.6 


7.3 


IR. 6 


5.6 


Eastern Corn Belt 


100.0 


77.9 


10.4 


5.4 


6.3 


Central Corn Belt 


100. 


82.4 


5.5 


6.9 


,5.2 


Northern Corn Belt... 


100. 


75.3 


6.9 


10.6 


7.2 


Western Corn Belt 


100.0 


66.8 


2.5 


25.9 


4.8 


Southern Corn Belt. . . 


100.0 


60.4 


14.4 


19.8 


5.4 



' Total cropland. Includes cropland harvested, cropland used only for pasture, and 
cropland neitlier harvested nor pastured. 

2 Total woodland. Includes wowiland pastured and woodland not pastured. 

3 House lots, roads, wasteland, etc. 



percentage of woodland was greatest in the Southern Corn Belt 
(14.4 percent); it was smallest in the Western Corn Belt (2.5 
percent). Pastureland other than cropland and woodland pas- 
ture made up 15.6 percent of the farmland in the total Corn 
Belt. Approximately a fourth of the farmland in the Western 
Corn Belt was pasture other than cropland or woodland, but in 
the Eastern Corn Belt this type accounted for only 5.4 percent of 
the total. The proportion of farmland in house lots, roads, 
wasteland, etc., was 5.6 percent for all commercial farms in the 
Corn Belt and this proportion did not vary greatly between 
regions. 

Practically all commercial farms in the Corn Belt reported 
cropland in 1954 (table 20). The percentage of farms reporting 

Table 20. — Percent of Commercial Farms Reporting Broad 
Types or Uses of Land, in the Corn Belt and Component 
Regions: 1954 



Region 


Land in 
farms 


Crop- 
land ' 


Wood- 
land" 


Pasture 
other than 
cropland 
or wood- 
land 


.\ll other 
land ' 


Corn Belt, total ._ 


Percent 
101). 
100. 
lOO.O 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 


Percent 
97.0 
95.9 
97.7 

98.4 
97.2 
90.3 


Percent 
38.4 
62.2 
22.7 

33.6 
19.7 
64.0 


Percent 
50.8 
32.8 
40.1 

63.0 
66.4 
62.0 


Percent 
97.2 


Eastern Corn Belt 


97.0 


Central Corn Belt. 


97.0 


Northern Corn Belt 


98.3 
97.2 


Southern Corn Belt 


97.2 



1 Total cropland. Includes cropland harvested, cropland used oiUy for pasture, and 
cropland neither harvested nor pastured. 

2 Total woodland. Includes woodland pastured and woodland not pastured. 

3 House lots, roads, wasteland, etc. 



CASH'GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



19 



T.ABLE 21. — Land in Commercial Farms, by Type and Eco- 
nomic Class, in the Corn Belt: 1954 



Typo and economic class of farm 


All land in 
farms 


Crop- 
land ' 


Wood- 
land * 


All other 
land» 


All commercial farms 

Cash-grain f;irms: 
Total 


Acres 
170,307,389 

59, 793. 487 
4, 029. 649 
20,000,721 

20, 759. 401 
10, 346, 191 

3, 834, 460 
823, 065 

75, 415, 319 
10, 720, 958 
24, 072, 221 

21, 553. 027 
12, 127, 604 

5. 16S. 716 
1. 772, 793 


Acres 
121, 754, 844 

47,384,086 
3.417,299 
16, 708, 22S 

16. 447. 281 
7. 663, 480 
2, 638, 948 

508, 850 

49, 863, 148 
7, 499, 063 

17, 256, 884 
14,349.032 

7. 283. 590 

2, 697, 375 

777, 204 


Acres 
12, 431, 256 

3, 356. 218 
178, 688 
823, 857 

1,084,800 
738, 060 
413, 248 
117, 665 

5, 803, 992 

490,753 

1, 394, 081 

1, 626. 529 

1, 214, 294 

709, 495 

369, 840 


-4cr«s 
36, 121. 289 

9, 053, 183 


Class: 

IV. 


433, 662 

2, 468, 636 

3, 227, 320 
1, 944. 651 


V 

VI 


782. 254 
196, 650 


Livestock farms:* 
Total 


19, 748, 179 


Class I 


2, 731, 142 


II 


6, 421, 256 


III - 

IV 


6, 578, 466 
3. 629, 720 


V 

VI 


1, 761, 846 
625, 749 



' Total cropland. Includes cropland harvested, cropland used only for pasture, and 
cropland neither harvested nor pastured. 
3 Total woodland. Includes woodland pastured and woodland not pastured. 
3 All farmland other than cropland and woodland. 
* Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

cropland ranged from 95.9 percent in the Eastern Corn Belt to 
98.4 percent in the Northern Corn Belt. In the Corn Belt as a 
whole, somewhat more than a third of the commercial farms 
reported woodland and approximately a half reported pasture 
other than cropland and woodland. The percentage of farms 
reporting land of these 2 types varied considerably between 
regions m the Corn Belt. 

The total acreages of land and of the various types of land in 
each economic class of cash-grain and livestock farms in the Corn 
Belt are .shown in table 21. Classes II, III, and IV farms liad the 
bulk of the acreage of all types of farmland in the Corn Belt. 



Table 22. — Cropland, Woodland, and All Other Land as 
Percentages of All Land in Commercial Farms in the 
Corn Belt: 1954 



Type and economic class of farm 


All land in 
farms 


Crop- 
land 1 


Wood- 
land > 


All other 
lands 


All commercial farms 


Percent 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 


Percent 
71.5 

79.2 
84.8 
83.5 
79.2 
74.1 
68.8 
61.8 

66.1 
69.9 
71.7 
66.6 
60.1 
62.2 
43.8 


Percent 
7.3 

5.6 
4.4 
4.1 
5.2 
7.1 
10.8 
14.3 

7.7 
4.6 
5.8 
7.5 
10.0 
13.7 
20.9 


Percent 
21 2 


Cash-grain farms: 

Total 




Class I. 




II 


12 3 


in 




rv 


18 8 


V 


20.4 


VI . . . 


23 9 


Livestock farms: < 
Total 


26.2 


Cla,ss I 


25.5 


II 


22.5 


Ill 


25 9 


IV 


29.9 


V . ... 


34 1 


VI 


35 3 







• Total cropland. Includes cropland harvested, cropland used only for pasture, and 
cropland neither harvested nor pastured. 

2 Total woodland. Includes woodland pastured and woodland not pastured. 

3 All farmland other than cropland and woodland. 

* Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

The proportion of farmland that was cropland was greater on 
the higher economic classes of farms than on the lower economic 
classes (table 22). On Class I cash-grain farms, 84.8 percent of 
the farmland was cropland. On Class VI cash-grain farms, 61.8 
percent of the acreage was cropland, and on Class VI livestock 
farms, only 43.8 percent. The largest proportion of farmland in 
woodland was found on the lower economic cla.sses of farms. 
The proportion in woodland was more than 10 percent on the 
Class V and Class VI f;irms of both cash-grain and livestock types. 
All land other than cropland and woodland was also a higher 



TOTAL CROPLAND** AS A PERCENT OF ALL LAND IN FARMS, 1954 

(COUNTY UNIT BASIS) 




LEGEND 

PERCENT 

I I UNDER 10 !■..:■/! 40 TO 59 

f" i 10 TO 19 ^^ 60 TO 79 

\..:^.i 20 TO 39 ^B 60 AND OVER 

* NO FARMS 
« * CROPLAND HARVESTED. CROPLAND USED ONLY FOR PASTURE 
AND CROPLAND NOT HARVESTED AND NOT PASTURED 
US OEPAHThltNT Of COMMERCE 



Figure 16. 



20 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



proportion of total farmland on the lower economic classes of 
farms. 

The percent that total cropland was of all land in farms, on a 
county unit basis in the United States in 1954, is shown in figure 
16. As an average for the United States, 39.7 percent of all the 
land in farms was cropland. The average for the United States 
is lowered by the inclusion of large areas in the West, where less 
than 10 percent of the farmland is cropland. The Corn Belt 
includes the biggest part of the large area in the North Central 



States where 60 percent or more of the farmland is cropland. 
The Central Corn Belt includes a large proportion of the area 
where SO percent or more of the area is cropland. 

LAND USE 

The total acreage of land in commercial farms and the distribu- 
tion of land according to use by type of farm in the Corn Belt and 
component regions in 1954 is shown in table 23. In the Eastern 



Table 23. — Total Land in Commercial Farms, and Distribution of Acreage According to Use, by Type of Farm, in the Corn 

Belt and Component Regions: 1954 





Acreage of farmland according to use (thousand acres) 


Region and type of farm 


Total land 
in farms 


Cropland 


Woodland 


Other 
pasture ' 






Harvested 


Used only 
for pasture 


Not har- 
vested and 
not pas- 
tured 


Pastured 


Not pas- 
tured 


All 
other 
land 2 


Total Corn Belt: 


170, 307 
59, 793 
75,416 

27,290 
11,618 
8,395 

33,370 
14, 942 
14,233 

22, 397 
6,329 
8,518 

63, 216 
17,394 
27, 761 

34,036 
9,612 
16, 508 


104,378 
42, 224 
41,428 

17,834 
8,299 
6,102 

24,487 
11,939 
9,619 

15, 009 
4,860 
6,404 

30, 624 
11, 309 
14, 492 

16, 424 
5,816 
6,811 


12,966 
3,005 
7,046 

2,794 

766 

1,167 

2,656 

853 

1,448 

1,559 
266 
725 

2,782 

572 

1,802 

3,176 

5,59 

1,904 


4,411 
2,156 
1,389 

642 
345 
133 

363 
186 
117 

290 
118 
79 

2,165 

1,167 

696 

970 
339 
364 


8,871 
2,007 
4,632 

1,699 
655 
635 

1,601 
448 
826 

1,244 
110 
669 

928 
243 
603 

3,499 

650 

1,998 


3,560 
1,349 
1,272 

1,145 
628 
289 

327 
151 
135 

306 
51 
126 

387 
168 
167 

1,396 
461 
656 


26, 652 
5,687 
16, 820 

1,470 
439 
566 

2.309 

645 

1,328 

2,379 

415 

1,065 

13, 760 
3,047 
8,849 

6,734 
1,140 
4,022 


9,469 


Cash-grain farms .. -- 


3,366 




3,929 


Eastern Com Belt: 


1,706 




695 


Livestock farms 3 


603 


Central Corn Belt: 


1,738 




719 




761 


Northern Corn Belt: 


1,610 




609 




660 


Western Com Belt: 


2,679 




897 




1,252 


Southern Cora Belt: 


1,836 




645 




863 







' Not cropland and not woodland. ' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

2 House lots, roads, wasteland, etc. 

Table 24. — Percent of Commercial Farms Reporting Land in Specified Uses in the Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 





Cropland 


Woodland 


Other 
pasture ' 


All 
other 
land' 




Region and type of farm 


Harvested 


Used only 
for pasture 


Not har- 
vested and 
not pas- 
tured 


Pastured 


Not pas- 
tured 


Any pas- 
ture* 


Total Com Belt: 

All commercial farms - - 


Percent 
96.8 
100.0 
94.4 

93.9 
100.0 
90.3 

96.9 
100.0 
95.8 

97.9 
100.0 
97.6 

96.6 
100.0 
95.2 

94.8 
100.0 
93.3 


Percent 
51.0 
44.1 
66.0 

61.9 
51.2 
71.8 

67.7 
52.4 
64.1 

63.7 
40.2 
62.1 

38.6 
31.7 
44.0 

44.6 
38.6 
48.3 


Percent 
18.0 
23.0 
14.1 

16.9 
20.8 
12 7 

9.7 
11.6 
7.9 

12.8 
17.9 
10.0 

26.3 
39.3 
18.4 

22.0 
26.0 
18.0 


Percent 
27.6 
21.2 
30.0 

41.2 
34.6 
48.6 

18.4 
13.9 
23.4 

25.5 
12.8 
28.7 

12.6 
10.7 
13.1 

41.2 
32.2 
46.5 


Percent 
16.8 
18.2 
14.1 

30.2 
33.8 
25.6 

6.8 
6.6 
7.1 

14.1 

10.7 
14.5 

9.6 
10.8 
8.9 

23.0 
27.7 
19.4 


Percent 
60.8 
43.5 
65.8 

32.8 
28.7 
37.0 

40.1 
34.3 
46.2 

53.6 
46.8 
54.1 

66.4 
64.2 
67.3 

62.0 
62.5 
66.2 


Percent 
97.2 
96.1 
98.0 

97.0 
96.3 
97.5 

97.0 
95.8 
98.1 

98.3 
97.7 
98.8 

97.2 
95.9 
98.0 

97.2 
96.7 
97.7 


Percent 
90.4 




82.9 




95.8 


Eastern Cora Belt: 


85.4 


Cash-grain farms - 


77.6 




93.8 


Central Com Bolt: 


89.0 




83,1 




94.7 


Northern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 


91.4 




80.4 




95.6 


Westera Com Belt: 


92.7 




87.6 


Livestock farms * 


96.6 


Southern Cora Belt: 


93.9 


Cash-grain farms .. 


86.7 


Livestock farms * 


97.6 







' Not cropland and not woodland. 
2 House lots, roads, wasteland, etc. 



' Cropland pastured, woodland pastured, or any other land pastured. 
< Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



21 



and Central Corn Belt, larger total acreages of land and of crop- 
land harvested are in cash-grain farms than in livestock farms. 
In the Northern, Western, and Southern Corn Belt, livestock 
farms include a larger total area and have more of the cropland 
than do cash-grain farms. There is more land used only for 
pasture in the Southern Corn Belt than in any of the other regions. 
The Western Corn Belt has the largest acreage of cropland not 
harvested and not pastured as well as the largest acreage of 
pasture that is neither cropland nor woodland. 



The percentage of farms reporting land in specified uses in 1954 
in the Corn Belt and component regions is shown in table 24. 
All cash-grain farms reported cropland harvested. The percent 
of livestock farms reporting cropland harvested was greatest in 
the Northern Corn Belt. Woodland pastured was reported by a 
larger percentage of the commercial farms in the Eastern Corn 
Belt than in any other region. From 77.6 to 97.6 percent of the 
farms in the various groups had pasture of some kind. 



Table 25. — Average Acreage Per Farm Reporting: All Land in Farms and Farmland in Specified Uses, on Commercial Farms 

IN THE Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 



Region and type of farm 



Total Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms_ 
Livestocii farms 3, 

Eastern Com Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
I/ivestock farms 3. 

Central Com Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-prain farms. 
Livestock farms 3. 

Northern Com Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock f:irms 3 

Western Com Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Casli-grain farms. 
Livestock farms 3. 

Southern Cora Belt: 
All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms 3, 



All land 
in farms 



Acres 
214 
226 
231 



154 
170 
163 



199 
216 
197 



206 
230 
210 



286 
295 
304 



216 
233 
232 



Cropland 



Harvested 



Acres 
137 
160 
134 



107 
122 
110 



151 
173 
139 



141 
177 
136 



171 

192 
167 



110 
142 
103 



Used only 
for pasture 



Not har- 
vested and 
not pastured 



Acres 



Woodland 



Pastured 



49 
47 

/] 



Not 
pastured 



Other 
pasture ' 



111 
81 

144 



All 
other 
land 2 



12 
13 
12 



10 
11 
10 



11 
11 
11 



15 
19 
14 



14 
16 
14 



12 
14 
12 



' Not cropland and not woodland. 
> House lots, roads, wasteland, etc. 



' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



Table 26. — Percentage Distribution of Farmland Acreage According to Use on Commercial Farms in the Corn Belt and 

Component Regions: 1954 





Percentage distribution of land in farms 


Region and type of farm 


Total 
land in 
farms 


Cropland 


Woodland 


Other 
pasture ' 






Harvested 


Used only 
for pasture 


Not har- 
vested and 
not pastured 


Pastm-ed 


Not 
pastured 


other 
land 3 


Total Com Belt: 

All commercial farms 


100.0 
100.0 
100. Q 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
lOOO 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 


61.3 
70.6 
54.9 

65.3 
71.4 
60.8 

73.4 
79.9 
67.6 

67.0 
76.8 
63.4 

67.5 
65 
62.2 

48.3 
61.2 
41.3 


7.6 
6.0 
9.3 

10.2 
6.5 
13.9 

8.0 
6.7 
10.2 

7.0 
4.2 
8.6 

6.2 
3.3 
6.6 

9.3 

6.9 
11.6 


2.6 
3.6 
1.8 

2.4 
3,0 
1.6 

1.1 
1.2 

0.8 

1.3 

1.9 
0.9 

4.0 
6.7 
2.6 

2.9 
3.6 
2 2 


6.2 
3.4 
6.0 

6.2 

4.8 
7.6 

4.5 
3.0 
6.8 

6.6 
1.7 
6.7 

1.7 
1.4 
1.8 

10.3 
6.8 
12.1 


2.1 
2.3 
1.7 

4.2 
4.6 
3.4 

1.0 
1.0 
0.9 

1.4 

0.8 
1.5 

0.7 
0.9 
0.6 

4.1 
4.8 
3.4 


16.6 
9.6 
21.0 

5.4 
3.8 
6.7 

6.9 
4.3 
9.3 

10.6 
6.6 
12.4 

25.9 
17.5 
31.9 

19.8 
12.0 
24.4 


5 5 




6 6 


Livestock farms 3 


6 2 


Eastern Com Belt: 

All commercial farms 


6 3. 






Livestock farms 3 


6 0' 


Centr.al Corn Belt: 


6 2' 


Cash-grain farms 


4 8 




6 3 


Northern Cora Belt: 


7 2 


Cash-grain farms . 


8 




6 6. 


Western Corn Belt: 


4 8 


Cash-grain farms 


6 2 




4 6, 


Southern Corn Belt- 


6 4- 


Cash-grain farms 


6 7 




6.2 







' Not cropland and not woodland. 
2 House lots, roads, wasteland, etc, 

423024—57 5 



3 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



22 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Data on the average acreage of land in various uses per farm 
reporting are of interest because they provide a better picture of 
the scale of operations than do averages based on all farms. For 
example, the acreage of cropland harvested per farm reporting 
among livestock farms ranged from 103 acres in the Southern 
Corn Belt up to 167 acres in the Western Corn Belt (table 25). 
Also, for example, the average acreage of pasture other than crop- 
land and woodland was 144 acres for the 67.3 percent of the 
livestock farmers in the Western Corn Belt who reported this use 
of land compared with 30 acres per farm reportmg for the 37 
percent of the livestock farmers in the Eastern Corn Belt. 

Distribution of all the farmland in each type group of farms in 
the Corn Belt and component regions is shown in terms of per- 
centages in table 26. For the Corn Belt as a whole, 61.3 percent 



of all land in commercial farms was cropland harvested, but this 
percentage ranged from 41.3 percent on livestock farms in the 
Southern Corn Belt to 79.9 percent on cash-grain farms in the 
Central Corn Belt. The percent of cropland used only for pasture 
also varied considerably between cash-grain and livestock farms 
as well as between regions. The same is true for other pasture. 
When the distribution of land in farms is viewed for economic 
classes of farms, it is seen that the percent of cropland harvested 
is a substantially larger percentage of all the farmland on the 
upper than on the lower economic classes of farms (table 27). 
On the other hand, woodland pasture and other pasture are larger 
percentages of the farmland on the lower income economic classes 
of farms. 



Table 27. — Percentage Distribution of Farmland Acreage According to Use on Commercial Farms in the Corn Belt: 1954 





Percentage distribution of land in farms 


Type and economic class of farm 


Total land 
in farms 


Cropland 


Woodland 


Other 
pasture ' 




Harvested 


Used only 
for pasture 


Not 
harvested 
and not 
pastured 


Pastured 


Not 
pastured 


All 
Other 
land J 




100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 


61.3 

70.6 
77.3 
75.5 
70.8 
64.8 
67.4 
47.6 

64.9 
59.3 
61.2 
65.9 
48.0 
38.2 
27.7 


7.6 

6.0 
4.7 
6.0 
4.9 
6.0 
6.7 
7.1 

9.3 
9.3 
9.1 
8.9 
9.6 
11.0 
12.1 


2.6 

3.6 
2.9 
3.0 
3.6 
4.2 
5.7 
7.2 

1.8 
1.3 
1.4 
1.8 
2.6 
3.0 
4.1 


5.2 

3.4 
2.7 
2.6 
3.2 
4.3 
6.0 
7.8 

6.0 
3.4 
4.6 
5.9 
7.8 
10.6 
15.7 


2.1 

2.3 
1.7 
1.6 
2.0 
2.9 
4.7 
6.5 

1.7 
1.2 
1.2 
1.6 
2.2 
3.2 
6.2 


15.6 

9.6 
6.3 
7.4 
9.9 
12.3 
12.9 
15.8 

21.0 
21.4 
17.8 
20.6 
24.1 
27.4 
27.7 


5.6 


Cash-grain farms: 

Total 


6.6 


Class I 


4.4 


n 


5.0 


in - 


5.6 


IV 


6.5 


V 


7.5 


VI 


8.1 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total - 


6.2 


ClassI 


4.1 


11 


4.7 


III 


5.4 


IV 


5.9 


V 


6.7 


VI 


7.6 







' Not cropland and not woodland, 
s House lots, roads, wasteland, etc. 



* Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



23 



The distribution of farms, of all land in farms, and of land in 
specified uses among economic classes of cash-grain and livestock 
farms is shown in table 28. Again, in this comparison the large 
proportion of land resources that is in Class III farms and in 
Class II farms and Class IV farms stands out. These economic classes 
are the most typical among both cash-grain and livestock farms 
in the Corn Belt. Class I farms use a larger proportion of the 
land resources among livestock farms than among cash-grain 
farms. The percentage of land in Class VI farms is relatively 
small. But the Class VI farms have a larger percentage of the 
relatively less productive land than they have of cropland 
harvested. 

The distribution of acreage of cropland harvested in the United 
States in 1954 is shown in figure 17. The largest area of dense 
concentration of cropland harvested includes the Corn Belt and 
areas adjacent to it on the north, west, and northwest. 



CROPLAND HARVESTED 

ACREAGE 1954 




Figure 17. 



Table 28. — Percentage Distribution of Farms and Land in Farms Among Economic Classes of Cash-Grain and Livestock 

F,^RMs IN THE Corn Belt: 1954 





Percentage distribution of land in specitiod uses 


Type and economic class of farm 


Number 
of farms 


All land 
in farms 


Cropland 


Woodland 


Other 
pasture ' 




• 


Harvested 


Used only 
for pasture 


Not 

harvested 

and not 

pastured 


Pastured 


Not 
pastured 


All 
other 
land" 


Cash-^ain farms; 
Total . . 


100.0 
2.5 
23.4 
34.1 
23.5 
12.8 
3.8 

100.0 
7.0 
25.6 
28.9 
20.5 
12.2 
5.8 


100.0 

6.7 

33.4 

34.7 

17.3 

6.4 

1.4 

100.0 
14.2 
31.9 
28.6 
16.1 
6.9 
2.4 


100.0 

7.4 

35.8 

34.8 

15.9 

5.2 

0.9 

100.0 
15.4 
35.6 
29.1 
14.1 
4.8 
1.2 


100.0 

6.2 

33.4 

33.9 

17.3 

7.3 

1.9 

100.0 
14.2 
31.0 
27.2 
16.6 
8.1 
3.0 


100.0 
5.4 
27.8 
33.6 
20.2 
10.2 
2.7 

100.0 
9.9 
24.5 
27.4 
21.6 
11.3 
6.2 


100.0 
5.4 
24.8 
33.1 
22.0 
11.5 
3.2 

100.0 
8.1 
24.6 
28.3 
20.8 
12.1 
6.1 


100.0 
5.2 
24.1 
31.2 
22.0 
13.5 
4.0 

100.0 
9.8 
21.8 
27.0 
21.4 
12.8 
7.2 


100.0 
4.6 
26.0 
36.1 
22.4 
8.7 
2.3 

100.0 
14.5 
27.0 
27.9 
18.4 
8.9 
3.1 


100 


Class I 


5.3 


II - 

III 


29.6 
34.8 


IV 


19.9 


V 


8.6 


VI 

Livestock farms; 3 

Total 


2.0 

100.0 


Class I - 

II 


11.1 

29.1 


III 


29.5 


IV . . 


18.1 


V 


8.8 


VI 


3.4 



1 Not cropland and not woodland. 
3 House lots, roads, wasteland, etc. 



> Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



24 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



CAPITAL INVESTMENT ON FARMS 



TOTAL INVESTMENT 

Farming in the Corn Belt requires a large investment of capital 
in land, buildings, machinery, equipment, and livestock. In a 
study of farm organization and production it is, therefore, desirable 
to make at least a brief analysis of the nature and structure of 
the farm capital investment. 

For the purpose of this study, total capital investment was 
considered under three broad categories — land and buildings, 
machinery and equipment, and livestock. The total value of 
land and buildings was computed for the Corn Belt and regions, 
as well as per farm, by applying the average value per acre obtained 
in the Census for each economic subregion to the total acreage in 
farms for each respective subregion. The value of livestock 
used in this study is an inventory value computed by applying 
average values per head of horses and mules, cattle, calves, hogs 
and pigs, and chickens, to the respective numbers of these livestock 
reported on farms at the time of the 1954 Census enumeration. 
The average values per head were based on estimates for counties 
or groups of counties made by the Agricultural Estimates Division 
of the Agricultural Marketing Service. 

Data on value of machinery were considerably loss complete 
than those for land and livestock. The number of farms reporting 
was obtained in the 1954 Census for the following items of machin- 
ery, equipment, and facilities: Tractors, motortrucks, cornpickers, 
grain combines, pickup hay balers, field forage harvesters, power 
feed grinders, milking machines, electric pig brooders, auto- 
mobiles, electricity, telephones, television sets, piped running 
water, and home freezers. Data on numbers were also obtained 
for the following: Tractors, motortrucks, automobiles, corn- 
pickers, grain combines, pickup hay balers, and field forage 
harvesters. 

The first step in estimating the value of machinery and equip- 
ment on farms in the Corn Belt was to obtain an average value for 
each of 9 specified machines — for tractors, motortrucks, auto- 
mobiles, cornpickers, grain combines, pickup hay balers, field 
forage harvesters, power feed grinders, and milking machines. 
These average values per machine were estimated on the basis 
of information from various sources. On the basis of studies by 
the U. S. Department of Agriculture and agricultural colleges it 
was estimated that the total value represented by these 9 ma- 
chinery items on farms would generally account for about two- 
thirds of the total value of machinery and equipment on the farm. 
Hence, to obtain the estimated total value of machinery and equip- 
ment on commercial farms, a factor of 150 (150 percent) was ap- 
plied to the estimated total value of the 9 machines on aU com- 
mercial farms. But in order to obtain these total-value figures for 
each economic class of cash-grain and livestock farms, a different 
factor was applied for each economic class. This was done in 
order to allow for differences in size and in age of machines on the 
different economic classes of farms. The adjustment factors used 
for each economic class were as follows: Class I, 185; Class II, 165; 
Class III, 150; Class IV, 142; Class V, 135; and Class VI, 130. 
The value of machinery and equipment was thus obtained for each 
economic class of farm, for the cash-grain farms and livestock 
farms, in regions of the Corn Belt. 

The total capital investment on all commercial farms in the 
Corn Belt was estimated to be 35.2 billion dollars (table 29). 
About three-fourths of this figure, or 26.7 billion dollars, repre- 
sented the investment in land and buildings. Machinery and 
equipment accounted for 4.8 billion dollars and livestock for 3.6 
billion dollars. The distribution of total investment between 
cash-grain and livestock farms is affected, of course, by the relative 
numbers of these types in various regions. 



Table 29. — Totai, Capital Investment, and Composition 
OF Investment, on Commercial Farms in the Corn Belt 
and Component Regions: 1954 





Total 

capital 

investment 


Composition of investment 


Region and type of farm 


Land and 
buildings 


Machinery 

and 
equipment 


Livestock 


Total Com Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Casb-grain farms 


1, mo dollars 
35, 154, 008 
12. 898, 526 
15, 349, 876 

7. 224. 803 
2, 908, 474 
2,390,279 

10, 597, 499 
4, 982, 457 
4, 419, 840 

4, 424, 609 
1, 125, 425 

1, 844, 400 

8, 362, 861 

2, 576, 945 
4, 619, 322 

4, 544, 246 
1, 305, 225 
2,175,975 


1,000 dollars 
26, 740, 670 
10, 668, 169 
11,025,004 

5, 623, 622 

2, 369, 632 
1, 787, 058 

8, 54.5, 164 
4, 286, 974 

3, 288, 324 

3, 132, 956 
867, 697 

1, 243, 406 

6, 208, 210 

2, 044, 287 

3, 212, 270 

3, 230, 617 

999, 568 

1, 493, 946 


1,000 dollars 
4, 772, 390 

1, 693, 157 

2, 062, 172 

1, 048, 209 
422, 074 
328, 959 

1, 124, 087 
496, 130 
626, 764 

695, 590 
1 82, 244 
279, 501 

1, 127, 503 
367, 950 
584, 702 

777, 001 
224, 759 
342, 186 


1,000 dollars 

3,641,048 

637, 210 




2, 262, 700 


Eastern Com Belt: 

All coramerctal farms 


552,972 
116, 768 


Livestock farms i 


274, 262 


Central Com Bolt: 

All commercial farms 


928,248 




199, 353 


Livestocli farms * 


604, 762 


Northern Com Belt: 


596, 063 


Cash-grain farms 


75, 484 




321, 493 


Western Com Belt; 

All commercial farms . . 


1,027,138 




164, 707 


Livestock farms ' 


722, 350 


Southern Com Belt: 


636, 627 




80, 898 




339, 843 







^ Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

There is some indication that the value of land and buildings on 
cash-grain farms generally runs higher than that on livestock farms. 
For example, in the Central Corn Belt, cash-grain farms are 41 
percent of all commercial farms and have a total value of 4.3 billion 
dollars of land and buildings, whereas livestock farms, being 43 
percent of all commercial farms, have a value of 3.3 billion dollars 
in land and buildings. 

The investment in machinery and equipment is greater than the 
investment in livestock on all the cash-grain farms as a group in 
every region. The value of machinery and equipment was larger 
than the investment in livestock on livestock farms in the Eastern 
and Southern Corn Belt. However, on livestock farms in the 
Central, Northern, and Western Corn Belt, the investment in 
livestock exceeds the investment in machinery and equipment. 

A clearer picture of the size and composition of capital invests 
ment on farms can be obtained by looking at the averages per farm 
(table 30). The average investment per farm for all commercial 
farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 was estimated at $44,094. Of this 
amount, 76 percent was the estimated value of land and buildings, 
13.6 percent was machinery ana equipment, and 10.4 percent was 
livestock. The investment per farm on both cash-grain and live- 
stock farms was greater than the average for all commercial farms. 
It was pointed out above that the all-commercial farm category 
includes a number of dairy farms, poultry farms, general farms, 
and other miscellaneous types, in addition to the cash-grain and 
livestock farms. Land and buildings consistently accounted for 
a larger percentage of the total capital investment on cash-grain 
farms than on livestock farms, reflecting the larger actual invest- 
ment in land and the smaller actual investment in livestock on 
cash-grain farms. In general, livestock farms would have a greater 
actual value of investment in buildings than farms of the cash-grain 
type. The highest percentage of investment in land and buildings 
is found on cash-grain farms in the Central Corn Belt where this 
category accounts for 86 percent of the total average capital invest- 
ment per farm. The lowest percentage accounted for by land and 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



25 



Table 30. — Value of Capital Investment Per Farm, and 
Percentage Composition, on Principal Types of Farms in 
the Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 





Capital 

investment 

per farm 

(dollars) 


Percentage composition of 
investment 


Region and type of farai 


Land and 
buildings 


Machinery 

and 
equipment 


Livestock 


Total Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms.. 


44, 094 
48, 758 
46, 991 

40, 754 
42,584 
46, 432 

63,138 
72. 171 
61, 327 

40.764 
40, 971 
45, 421 

44. 919 
43, 771 
49,463 

28,873 
31, 940 
30,688 


76.1 
81.9 
71.8 

77.8 
81.5 
74.8 

80.6 
86.0 
74.4 

70.8 
77.1 
67.4 

74.2 
79.3 
71.1 

71.1 
76.6 
68.7 


13.6 
13.1 
13.4 

14.6 
14.6 
13.8 

10.6 
10.0 
11.9 

16.7 
16.2 
15.2 

13.6 
14.3 
12.9 

17.1 
17.2 
16.7 


10.4 




4.9 


Livestoclc farms ' 


14.7 


Eastem Com Belt: 

All commercial farms 


7.7 


Cash-grain farms 


4.0 




11.6 


Central Cora Belt: 


8.8 


Casli-grain farms .. . 


4.0 




13.7 


Northem Com Belt: 


13.6 


Casli-firain farms 


6.7 




17.4 


Western Com Belt: 


12.3 


Cash-grain farms 


6.4 


Livestoclv farms i. 


16.0 


Southern Corn Belt: 


11.8 


Cash-grain farms . . 


6.2 




15.6 







1 Livestock other than dah-y and poultry farms. 

buildings is on livestock farms in the Northern and Southern Corn 
Belt. Livestock farms consistently had a larger percentage of 
their capital value in livestock than did cash-grain farms. The 
percentage invested in machinery did not differ greatly between 
cash-grain and livestock farms. 

There are wide differences in the size of the total capital invest- 
ment among economic classes of farms (table 31). The average 
investment on Economic Class I farms of the cash-grain type was 
$171,558. The comparable figure for Economic Class VI farms 
was $11,761. On livestock farms Economic Class I farms had an 
average investment of $121,131 and Class VI farms, at the other 
extreme, had an average value of $11,523. From these examples 
it is easy to realize the great differences in capital invested on the 
different economic classes of farms. The data in table 31 reveal 
the insufficiency of an average figure for all commercial farms 
which, in this case, was $44,094. The investment per farm on 
cash-grain farms was almost invariablj' higher than the invests 



Table 31. — Average Value of Capital Investment Per 
Commercial Farm in the Corn Belt and Component 
Regions: 1954 



Type and economic class of farm 


Com 
Belt, 
total 


Eastern 
Corn 
Belt 


Central 
Com 
Belt 


North- 
em 
Com 
Belt 


Western 
Com 
Belt 


South- 
em 
Com 
Belt 


All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms: 

Total 


Dollars 
44, 094 

48, 758 
171, 558 
81,362 
46,604 
28,896 
18,298 
11,761 

46, 991 
121, 131 
67, 681 
42, 937 
28,632 
18, 456 
11,623 


Dollars 
40,764 

42, 684 
152, 774 

74, 852 

43, 696 
27, 184 

17, 582 
11,477 

46, 432 
134, 284 
69, 275 
42, 327 
26, 763 

18. 103 
11, 190 


Dollars 
63,138 

72, 171 
196, 133 

95,015 
56, 446 
35,234 
21,363 
14, 333 

61, 327 
125, 440 

73, 035 
48. 347 
33, 397 
21, 657 
13, 715 


Dollars 
40, 764 

40. 971 
136,318 
63,487 
39. 166 
25. 746 
17,036 
11,288 

46,421 
106, 274 
59, 634 
39, 060 
28, 084 
17,477 
12,650 


Dollars 

44, 919 

43, 771 
144.055 
72, 418 

45, 475 

30, 425 
19,816 

12, 696 

49, 463 
116,646 
68, 004 

46, 687 

31, 529 
21, 266 

13, 857 


Dollars 
28,873 

31, 940 


Class I 


144, 050 


II 


69, 565 


III 


39, 951 


IV 


25 495 


V::: .::::::::::::: 


17,293 


VI 


10, 918 


Livestock farms: ' 
Total 


30,688 


Class I...- 

II.... 


114, 794 
69, 084 


Ill 


35 903 


rv 


24, 192 


V . . 


16,968 


VI 


9,995 







' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

raent per farm on livestock farms for farms in Economic Classes I, 
II, and III. There was not much difference in the average invest- 
ment per farm on cash-grain farms and livestock farms of Economic 
Classes IV, V, and VI. In value of capital investment per farm 
as shown in this table, the Central Corn Belt stands out. In this 
region the average value of investment per farm is higher than that 
in an}' other region for every economic class. The Southern and 
Northern Corn Belt regions generally have the lowest investment 
per farm, class by class. 

LAND AND BUILDINGS 

The average investment in land and buildings, machinery and 
equipment, and livestock, as well as the total per farm, is shown for 
each of the economic classes of farms of the cash-grain and livestock 
types in table 32. On cash-grain farms, the investment in land and 
buildings and in machinery and equipment per farm is higher than 
it is for all commercial farms. On livestock farms the investment 
in each of these 3 categories is larger than the average for all com- 
mercial farms. 

The percentage distribution of total capital investment shows 
that the investment in land and buildings is a greater propor- 
tion of the total on the larger farms. In other words, the per- 
centage of the investment represented by land and buildings de- 
creases from 87.4 percent for Class I cash-grain farms to 75.1 



Table 32. — Average Value and Composition of Capital Investment Per Commercial Farm in the Corn Belt: 1954 





Total 
capital invest- 
ment per farm 
(dollars) 


Composition of investment 


Percentage of total capital investment 


Type and economic class of farm 


Land and 
buildings 
(dollars) 


Machinery and 

equipment 

(dollars) 


Livestock 
(doUars) 


Land and 
buUdings 


Machinery and 
equipment 


Livestock 




44,094 

48, 758 
171,558 
81,362 
46,604 
28,896 
18, 298 
11, 761 

46, 991 
121,131 
67, 581 
42, 937 
28,632 
18, 456 
11,623 


33, 541 

39,949 
149, 908 
68,608 
37, 572 
22, 415 
13, 768 
8,838 

33, 751 
88,430 
49,639 
30, 447 
19, 696 
12, 662 
7,922 


5,986 

6,400 
15, 025 
9,019 
6,482 
4,901 
3,659 
2,404 

6,313 
12, 774 
8,482 
6,198 
4,606 
3,256 
2,050 


4,667 

2,409 
6,625 
3,735 
2,650 
1,580 
871 
519 

6,929 
19, 927 
9,460 
6,292 
4,331 
2,638 
1,561 


76.1 

81.9 
87.4 
84.3 
80.6 
77.6 
76.2 
76.1 

7L8 
73.0 
73.6 
70.9 
68.8 
68.1 
68.7 


13.6 

13.1 
8.8 
11.1 
13.9 
17.0 
20.0 
20 4 

13 4 
10 5 
12 6 
14.4 
16. 1 
17.6 
17.8 


10.4 


Cash-grain farms: 

Total 


4.9 


Class I. 


3.9 


II . . . 


4.6 


Ill 


6.6 


IV 


5.6 


V 


4.8 


VI 


4.4 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total. 


14.7 


Class I 


16.6 


II 


14.0 


Ill— 


14.7 


IV 


16.1 


V 


14.4 


VI 


13.6 







' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



26 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



percent for Class VI cash-grain farms, and from 73 percent on 
Class I livestock farms to 68.7 percent on Class VI livestock farms. 
The percentage of the total investment accounted for by machinery 
and equipment increases as size of farm decreases. 

The principal explanation of this is that the machinery and 
equipment investment per acre tends to be greater on the smaller 
farms. Farms need a certain minimum quantity of machinery and 
equipment, below which it is difficult to go, even though the acre- 
age in the farm is relatively small. The percentage of investment 
represented by livestock tends to be stable from one economic 
class of farm to another. This comes about chiefly because it is 
easier to adjust numbers of livestock or livestock production to a 
proper balance with acreage available than it is to adjust the invest- 
ment in machinery and equipment. 

The average value of investment per farm in land and buildings 
is shown for the Corn Belt and component regions, by economic 
class, in table 33. The contrast in value of land and buildings 
per farm, between economic classes, is evident in all regions. 
For the total Corn Belt, the range is from approximately $150,000 
per farm on Economic Class I cash-grain farms down to less than 
$9,000 per farm on Economic Class VI farms of this type. The 
contrast is similar, although not as extreme, on livestock farms. 
The investment in land and buildings is greatest for Class I cash- 
grain farms in the Central Corn Belt and the least for Class VI 
livestock farms in the Southern Corn Belt. Between these two 
extremes in land-and-buildings investment per farm, practically 
every level is represented by farms in various economic classes in 
the different regions. The investment in land and buildings is 
higher on cash-grain farms than on livestock farms in the Central, 
Northern, and Southern Corn Belt. In the Eastern and Western 
Corn Belt the value of land and buildings per farm is only slightly 
higher on livestock farms than on cash-grain farms. 



Table 33. — Average Value of Land and Buildings Per 
Farm, for Commercial Farms, by Type and Economic 
Class, in the Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 



Type and economic class of farm 



All commercial farms. 

Cash-gratn farms: 

Total 

Class I 

II 

III 

IV 

V 

VI 

Livestock farms: • 

Total... 

Class I- 

II. 

Ill 

IV. 

V. 

VI... 



Corn 


Eastern 


Central 


North- 


Western 


Belt, 


Corn 


Com 


Corn 
Belt 


Com 


total 


Belt 


Belt 


Belt 


Dollars 


Dollars 


Dollars 


Dollars 


Dollars 


33, 641 


31, 722 


50. 911 


28,857 


33, 346 


39, 949 


34, 694 


62,097 


31, .588 


34,723 


149, 908 


130, 676 


176,339 


114,803 


121, 809 


68,608 


62, 686 


82, 620 


60,074 


59, 097 


37, 672 


35, 221 


47, 651 


29, 791 


36,884 


22,415 


21,334 


28, 947 


19, 075 


23, 318 


13, 768 


13,357 


17, 089 


12, 484 


14, 868 


8,838 


8,899 


11,401 


8,016 


9,626 


33,761 


34, 714 


46, 627 


30, 620 


35, 168 


88,430 


102, 294 


94, 305 


73, 360 


81, 736 


49. 639 


52.646 


64, 996 


40, 915 


49,543 


30, 447 


31,340 


35, 398 


26,923 


32, 490 


19. 696 


19, 216 


23, 791 


18, 226 


21, 701 


12. 662 


12, 879 


15, 388 


10, 997 


14, 460 


7,922 


8,072 


9,860 


8,476 


9,568 



South- 
em 

Cora 
Belt 



Dollars 
20, 626 



24,460 
118,344 
56, 081 
30,641 
18, 892 
12,682 
7,910 



21,001 
82, 270 
41, 820 
24, 483 
16, 177 
10, 629 
6,630 



' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



The average value of land and buildings per acre in 1954 is shown 
graphically in figure 18. A large area of land, averaging $200 per 
acre or more in value, runs through the Corn Belt. The area of 
this high-value-per-acre land is especially solid in the Central Corn 
Belt. Other regions with such high values are found mainly in 
the irrigated areas of the West, and in areas near large cities, and 
in den.sely populated areas of the northeastern United States. 




Figure 18. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



27 



The average value per acre of land on all commercial farms in 
the Corn Belt in 1954 was $157. In the Central Corn Belt the 
average was $256 per acre and in the Southern Corn Belt it was 
$95 (table 34). The average values per acre shown in the table 
again point out the generally higher values of land on cash-grain 
farms than on livestock farms in the Central, Western, and South- 
ern Corn Belt. The land values per acre are generally higher on 
cash-grain farms than the average for all commercial farms. In 
contrast with the values on Economic Classes I, II, and III farms, 
are the relatively low values per acre on Class V and Class VI 
farms, especially in the Southern, Western, and Northern Corn 
Belt. 

Table 34. — Average Value of Land and Buildings Per Acre, 
BY Type and Economic Class of Farm, in the Corn Belt 
and Component Regions : 1954 



Type and economic class of farm 


Com 
Belt. 

total 


Eastern 
Cora 
Belt 


Central 
Corn 
Belt 


North- 
ern 
Corn 
Belt 


Westera 
Cora 
Belt 


South- 
ern 
Cora 
Belt 


All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms; 

Total -- 


Dollars 
157 

177 
242 
213 
163 
134 
122 
107 

146 
187 
172 
134 
109 
97 
84 


Dollars 
206 

204 
215 
219 
199 
191 
179 
164 

213 
234 
228 
202 
186 
181 
162 


Dollars 
256 

287 
336 
304 
263 
230 
203 
201 

231 
266 
242 
206 
183 
191 
192 


Dollars 
140 

137 
191 
158 
129 
111 
108 
109 

146 
208 
166 
129 
110 
97 
98 


Dollars 
117 

118 
133 
130 
117 
105 
98 
92 

116 
132 
132 
110 
93 
83 
87 


Dollars 
95 

105 


ClassI- 


140 


II 


131 


III 


107 


IV - 


93 


V 


87 


VI. 


76 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total - 


90 


ClassI 


119 


II. 


110 


III 


92 


IV 


79 


V 


71 


VI 


69 







1 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



LIVESTOCK 



The importance of livestock in Corn Belt farming is reflected 
by the 3.6 billion dollars inventory value of livestock, shown in 
table 29 above. Almost a third of this livestock value is in the 
Western Corn Belt and about a fourth is in the Central Corn Belt. 
The average value of livestock investment per farm, on commercial 
farms in the Corn Belt, is about .?4,600, but the average for live- 
stock farms is nearly $7,000. The range among economic classes 
of livestock farms is from about $1,500 on Class VI farms to almost 
$20,000 on Class I farms. Livestock production is discussed 
more fully in a following section. 

MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT 

The percentage of farms reporting each of the items of machinery 
and equipment is shown by type of farm and by regions in the 
Corn Belt in table 35. Approximately 90 percent of the farms 
in all parts of the Corn Belt reported having tractors. On cash- 
grain farms, the proportion was over 90 percent in all regions, and 
it was over 90 percent on livestock farms also e.xcept in the South- 
ern and Eastern Corn Belt. The distribution of tractors in the 
United States is shown in figure 19. The Corn Belt is the largest 
region of heavy concentration of tractors on farms. 

The cornpicker was the next most frequently reported item of 
machinery. Cornpickers were reported by a somewhat greater 
percentage of the cash-grain farms than of the livestock farms. 
However, the difference is not large and is to be expected because 
of the great importance of the corn crop on livestock as well as 
on cash-grain farms. The location of farms reporting corn- 
pickers in the United States is shown in figure 20. The pattern 
of heaviest concentration practically coincides with the Corn 
Belt as the term is used in this study. 



TRACTORS ON FARMS 

NUMBER. 1954 




Figure 19. 



CORN PICKERS 

NUMBER OF FARMS REPORTING. 1954 




Figure 20. 



GRAIN COMBINES 

NUMBER OF FARMS REPORTING. 1954 




Figure 21. 

One out of every two commercial farms reported having grain 
combines. The figure was 60.4 percent for cash-grain farms and 
47.2 percent for livestock farms in the Corn Belt as a whole. 
The greatest concentration of farms reporting grain combines as 
well as cornpickers was in the Central Corn Belt. Grain combines 
were found least frequently in the Southern Corn Belt, but even 
there they were reported on 43.8 percent of the commercial farms. 
The distribution of grain combines on farms in the United States 
is shown in figure 21. The Corn Belt and the wheat-producing 
region of the Great Plains have the heaviest concentration. 
Farms having combines are especially numerous in a broad belt 
extending from northwestern Ohio through Indiana, Illinois, and 
Iowa. 



28 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Table 35. — Percent of Commercial Farms in Each Type Reporting Specified Farm Machines in the Corn Belt and Component 

Regions: 1954 



Region and type of farm 



Tractors 



Motor- 
trucks 



Corn- 
pickers 



Grain 
combines 



Piclnip 
hay balers 



Field for- 
age har- 
vesters 



Power feed 
grinders 



MUking 
machines 



Electric 
pig brood- 
ers 



Total Com Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms i. 

Eastern Corn Belt: 

AH commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms i. 

Central Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms •. 

Northern Com Belt: 
All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms '. 

Western Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms i 

Southern Corn Belt: 
AH commercial farms 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms • 



Percent 
89.8 
93.1 
89.9 



88.2 
91.9 
87.6 



Percent 
51.1 
62.5 
62.5 



49.2 
49.1 
65.0 



Percent 
68.8 
66.1 
60.3 



54.8 
60.6 
67.8 



Percent 
60.3 
CO. 4 
47.2 



48.8 
66.6 
47.2 



Percent 
18.6 
14.3 
22.1 



18 2 
14,6 
21.2 



Percent 
7.6 
4.3 
9.8 



5.3 
3.2 
6.5 



Percent 
38.0 
29.3 
45.9 



22,0 
16,4 
28,8 



Percent 
24.4 
16.3 
19.0 



28.9 
19.8 
20.3 



Percent 
8.0 
4.7 
11.2 



6.9 
3.7 
11.5 



92.7 
94.2 
93.0 



9L8 
94.2 
94.2 



91.7 
93.8 
91.6 



86.1 
9L6 
83.8 



63.3 
63.7 
56.0 



53.0 
61.4 
63.9 



63.4 
56.8 
63.6 



47.1 
51.9 
46.8 



71.1 

74.7 
7L2 



63.6 
66 6 
68.6 



64.0 
67.2 
65.4 



40.8 
62.5 
39.7 



68.0 
65.2 
65.8 



60.0 
60.4 
49.1 



50 4 
59.4 
47.1 



43.8 
60.1 
37.7 



20.4 
14.6 
26.8 



23.4 
15.4 
28.3 



16,8 
12.6 
18,3 



17.0 
16.1 
19.3 



7.6 
3.8 
11.2 



11.5 
6.9 
14.2 



8.4 
4.9 
10.7 



6.5 
4.6 
7.1 



42.8 
32.7 
62.3 



41.8 
30,8 
50.1 



47.3 
38 
53,2 



37.1 
31.6 
40.0 



23.7 
17.6 
21.9 



48 2 
27.4 
44,3 



16.1 
11.3 
13.7 



13,4 
7.9 
7.5 



10.1 
6.6 
13.7 



10.4 
4.8 
13.1 



7.8 
4.3 
10.6 



6.7 
3.6 
7.9 



' Livestock other than dah-y and poultry farms. 

Motortrucks were reported by about half the farmer.^, and 
were fairly evenly distributed among types of farms throughout 
the Corn Belt. 

Pickup hay balers were reported on almost a fifth of all the farms. 
These machines save a great deal of labor in the harvesting and 
handling of hay. 

Field forage harvesters were reported on nearly 8 percent of all 
commercial farms. This type of machine, which picks up and 
chops hay or other forage, is relatively new. It fits into the 
mechanization scheme and has been introduced on many farms, 
especially on livestock farms in the Northern, Central, and Western 
Corn Belt. 

Power feed grinders were reported on a relatively large percent- 
age of the farms, especially among the livestock farms. This 
refiects the heavy use of homegrown feeds in the Corn Belt. It 
is pointed out in a later section of this report that use of purchased 
mixed feeds on these farms is also great. The distribution of 
power feed grinders on farms in the United States is shown in 
figure 22. The Corn Belt has the heaviest concentration of these 
machines. They are most densely concentrated in northwestern 
Illinois, eastern and western Iowa, and eastern Nebraska. 

Electric pig brooders are of many sizes and types. It is difficult 
therefore to obtain an average value per unit for this equipment. 
They were reported on 8 percent of the commercial farms in the 
Corn Belt. They were reported by almost 14 percent of the 
livestock farmers in the Central Corn Belt. 

Milking machines were reported on 24.4 percent of all the com- 
mercial farms, but on only 16.3 percent of the cash-grain farms 
and 19 percent of the livestock farms. Milking machines were 
most frequently reported in the Northern Corn Belt, which 
borders on the dairy country of Minnesota and Wisconsin. In 
the Northern Corn Belt, milking machines were reported on 44.3 
percent of the livestock farms and on 27.4 percent of the cash- 
grain farms. 

For the Corn Belt as a whole, tractors, cornpickers, and grain 
combines were reported on larger percentages of the cash-grain 
farms than of the livestock farms. On the other hand, larger 
percentages of the livestock farms reported having pickuij hay 
balers, field forage harvesters, power feed grinders, milking 
machines, and electric pig brooders. Motortrucks were reported 
by an equal proportion of the farmers on cash-grain and livestock 
farms. 



POWER FEED GRINDERS 

NUMBER OF FARMS REPORTING 1954 



\-.,r<f^ 





UNTTED STATES TOTAL 
707. 088 



i pefMTMDiT OF ccamct 



aoKtij c* It cocus 



Figure 22. 

Tractors were reported on 96 to 98 percent of all Economic 
Classes I, II, and III farms in the Corn Belt. Among the Classes 
IV, V, and VI farms the percentage of farmers having tractors 
was smaller (table 36). Only two-thirds of the Economic Class 
VI cash-grain farms and only half of the Economic Class VI 
livestock farms reported tractors. 

For every one of the specified farm machines, the percentage of 
farms reporting the.se machines declines consistently from a 
relatively high figure on Economic Class I farms to a relatively 
low figure on Economic Class VI farms. For example, among the 
cash-grain farms, about 93 percent of the Class I farms had grain 
combines, but only 30 percent of the Class V farms and 15 percent 
of the Class VI farms had these machines. Similarly, for example, 
among livestock farms, pickup hay balers were reported on 44 
percent of the Class I farms, on 23 percent of the Class III farms, 
and on only 3 percent of the Class VI farms. 

The only exception to the rule that the percentage of farms 
reporting specified machines declines as we look from Class I 
to Class VI farms, is in the instance of milking machines. In 
this case, the percentage of farms reporting is smaller for Class I 
farms of both the cash-grain and livestock types than it is for the 
Class II and Class III farms. Apparently, the explanation is 
the relatively small percentage of Class I cash-grain and livestock 
farms that have dairy herds. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



29 



Table 36. — Percent of Commercial Farms in Each Type, by Economic Class, Reporting Specified Farm Machines, in the Corn 

Belt: 1954 



Type and economic class of larm 


Tractors 


Motor- 
trucks 


Corn- 
pickers 


Grain 
combines 


Pickup 
hay balers 


Field for- 
age har- 
vesters 


Power feed 
grinders 


Milking 
machines 


Electric 
pig brood- 
ers 




Percent 
89.8 

93.1 
98.1 
97.4 
96.0 
92 7 
85.6 
66.2 

89.9 
97.6 
97.0 
96 7 
89.8 
75.8 
50 


Percent 
61.1 

62.5 
89.7 
70.7 
63.8 
42.6 
35.2 
23.6 

62 5 
80 9 
65.8 
52 
43.7 
36.8 
26.3 


Percent 
68.8 

65.1 
94.6 
86.3 
73.2 
54.4 
33,4 
16 

60.3 
86.9 
80.7 
68.9 
48.2 
26 6 
11. 


Percent 
50 3 

60.4 
92 6 
82.6 
67.3 
48,8 
29.9 
16.4 

47,2 
76,2 
68,6 
52-3 
33,2 
16,4 
7.1 


Percent 
18.6 

14,3 
36 7 
22 8 
16 3 
9.2 
4.8 
3.3 

22,1 
44,2 
33,3 
22.6 
14.2 
6.9 
3.3 


Percent 
7.6 

4.3 

16.1 

7.8 

4.2 

2.2 

.9 

.9 

9.8 
36.8 
16 8 
7.7 
3.6 
1.6 
.9 


Percent 
38.0 

29.3 
47,9 
40.2 
32 5 
23.2 
14.7 
8.1 

46 9 
70,1 
59.8 
50 9 
37, 1 
22 7 
10 9 


Percent 
24.4 

16,3 
17.3 
25.7 
19.9 
10.1 
4.7 
1.9 

19.0 
17.4 
26 9 
25.3 
14.5 
6.0 
2.1 


Percent 
8.0 


Cash-grala farms: 

Total 


4.7 


Class I 


14.2 


II 


8.8 


HI 


4.6 


rv 


2.2 


V 


1.3 


VI 


1.0 


Livestock farms: • 

Total - 


n.2 


Class! 


22 7 


II 


17.9 


Ill 


10.9 


IV 


6.3 


V 


4.0 


VI 


LI 







• Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



Farmers who do not have their own machines for handling 
grain and hay depend on hiring such machines on a custom-work 
basis, or tliey depend on e.xoliange work, or they use less mechan- 
ized methods that require more labor. 

The intensity of mechanization on Corn Belt farms is indicated 
by the percentage of farms that report various types and combina- 
tions of types of work power (table 37). Tractors were reported 
on approximately 90 percent of all commercial farms in the Corn 
Belt. Sixty-seven percent of the farms had tractors but no horses 
or mules. Only 3.1 percent of the commercial farms reported 
horses and/or mules and no tractor. Horses or mules were found 
on a substantial number of farms, however, as 22.2 percent of all 
commercial farms reported having one or more tractors and horses 
or mules. On 7.4 percent of the farms, no tractor, horses, or mules 
were reported. The region with the largest percentage of farms 
reporting no tractor or animal power was the Eastern Corn Belt, 
where 10.6 percent of the farms thus reported. Farmers who do 
not have their own tractors or horses or mules generally have 



their fieldwork done by custom operators, or neighbors, or they 
rent power units. On relatively very few farms the land is all in 
hay or jjasture, and no land is plowed or cultivated. Farms of 
this type require little or no mechanical power. 

The high degree of mechanization, as indicated by the use of 
tractor.s, is general throughout the Corn Belt on cash-grain and 
livestock farms and on other commercial types. It is most in- 
tensive in the Central, Northern, and Western Corn Belt. The 
Southern Corn Belt has the largest percentage of farms using 
horses or mules and no tractor. In that region, 7 percent of the 
commercial farms reported horse or mule power only, and 30 
percent reported horses and/or mules in addition to tractors. 
For the Corn Belt as a whole, about as many farms reported 
2 tractors as reported 1 tractor. Only 13.5 percent of the farms 
had 3 tractors or more. In the Central and Northern Corn Belt, 
more than 50 percent of the farmers reported 2 tractors, while 
from 28 to 34 percent (approximately) reported only 1 tractor. 
In the Southern and Eastern Corn Belt more farms reported 



Table 37. — Percent of Commercial' Farms Reporting, by Type of Work Power and Number of Tractors,' by Type of Farm, 

IN THE Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 





Percentage distribution of farms reporthag— 


Farms re- 
portmg 
tractors, 
as a per- 
cent of all 
commercial 
farms 


Percentage distribution of farms reporting— 


Region and type of farm 


No tractor, 

horses, or 

mules 


Horses 

and/or 

mules and 

no tractor 


Tractor 
and horses 
or mules 


Tractor 
and no 

horses or 
mules 


Any trac- 
tors 


1 tractor 


2 tractors 


3 or more 
tractors 


Total Com Belt: 


7.4 
6.9 
6.7 

10.6 
7. 7 
11.2 

6.3 
5.2 
5.5 

5.0 
6.2 
4.0 

6 8 
4.9 
5.4 

8.3 

5.9 
8.2 


3.1 
1.3 
3.9 

2.6 
1.1 
2.8 

1.5 
0.9 
1.8 

1.7 

0.7 
2.0 

2.8 
1.5 
3.3 

7.1 
2.7 

8.7 


22 2 
16.0 
27.4 

12 3 
9.6 
15.1 

17.1 
13.2 
21.2 

23.0 
15.4 

25.9 

28,9 
22.2 
34.0 

30.1 
22 5 
34.9 


67.3 

76.8 
62.0 

74.5 
81.0 
70.9 

75.1 
80.7 
71.5 

70.3 
78.7 
68.1 

02 5 
71.4 
67.3 

64.5 
08.9 
48.2 


89.6 
92 8 
89.4 

86.8 
91.2 
86.1 

92 2 
93.9 
92 7 

93.3 
94.1 
93.9 

91.4 
93.7 
91.4 

84.6 
91.6 
83.1 


100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 


43.4 
40.9 
41.9 

48.1 
46.6 
45.9 

29.3 
28.4 
27.8 

33.6 
31.2 
32.1 

42 9 
44.2 
39.6 

62 4 
56.0 
64.3 


43.1 
43.9 
43.9 

39.7 
40.6 
40.6 

61.5 
50.9 
62 8 

50.8 
50.1 
51.2 

44.2 
42 6 
46.2 

30.0 
34.8 
28.4 


13.6 


Cash-grain farms.. 


15.2 




14.2 


Eastern Com Belt: 


12 2 


Cash-grain farms . .... 


12 8 


Livestock farms ^ 


13.6 


Central Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 


19.2 


Cash-grain farms _ _. 

Livestock farms ^ . 


20.7 
19.4 


Northern Corn Belt: 


16 7 


Cash-grain farms.. .... 


18.7 


Livestock farms 2 


16.7 


Western Corn Belt: 


12.9 


Cash-grain farms.. _ . 


13.2 


Livestock farms ^ 


14.3 


Southern Corn Belt: 
.\J1 commercial farms 


7.6 




10.2 


Livestock farms 2 


7.3 







1 Farms reporting tractors, other than garden tractors. 

2 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



30 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Table 38. — Percent of Commercial Farms Reporting, by Type of Work Power and Number of Tractors,' by Type and Economic 

Class of Farm, in the Corn Belt : 1954 





Percentage distribution of farms reporting — 


Farms re- 
porting 
tractors, 
as a per- 
cent of all 
commercial 
farms 


Percentage distribution of farms reporting — 


Type and economic class of farm 


No tractor, 

horses, or 

mules 


Horses 

and/or 

mules and 

no tractor 


Tractor 
and horses 
or mules 


Tractor 
and no 

horses or 
mules 


Any trac- 
tors 


1 tractor 


2 tractors 


3 or more 
tractors 




7.4 

5.9 
1.9 
2.4 
3.7 
6.4 
12.4 
24.6 

6.7 
1.7 
2.3 
3.0 
6.7 
16.1 
31.7 


3.1 

1.3 
0.3 
0.4 
0.5 
1.2 
2.8 
11.4 

3.9 
0.9 
0.7 
1.5 
4.1 
9.7 
19.9 


22.2 

16.0 
22.2 
16.2 
15.5 
16.2 
15.8 
13.2 

27.4 
36.1 
26.7 
27.4 
30.0 
25.0 
17.5 


67.3 

76.8 
75.6 
81.0 
80.3 
76.2 
69.0 
50.9 

62.0 
62.3 
70.3 
68.1 
59.2 
49.2 
30.9 


89.6 

92.8 
97.8 
97.3 
95.8 
92.4 
84.8 
64.2 

89.4 
97.4 
96.9 
95.5 
89.2 
74.2 
48.4 


100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
lOO.O 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 


43.4 

40.9 
2.3 
12.6 
35.1 
59.8 
78.0 
87.4 

41.9 
6.2 
18.6 
40.4 
63.0 
79.8 
88.3 


43.1 

43.9 
19.3 
56.4 
53.3 
35.1 
19.4 
11.2 

43.9 
39.2 
59.3 
50.6 
32.5 
18.4 
10.9 


13.5 


Cash-grain farms: 

Total 


15.2 


Class I . 


78.4 


II 


31.0 


Ill 


11.6 


IV 


5.1 


V - 


2.6 


VI 


L4 


Livestock farms; ^ 

Total 


14.2 


Class I.. ... . 


64.6 


II 


22.1 


III 


9.0 


IV 


4.5 


V 


1.8 


VI 


0.8 







J Farms reporting tractors, other than garden tractors. 
' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



1 tractor than reported 2 tractors. Farms having 3 or more tractors 
were relatively most numerous in the Central and Northern Corn 
Belt. 

Use of tractors is more universal among the larger than among 
the smaller farms (table 38). About 97 to 98 percent of the 
Economic Class I and Class II farms, of the cash-grain and 
livestock types, reported tractors; among the Class V and Class VI 
farms the proportions ranged from about 48 to 85 percent. The 
largest proportion of farmers having tractors but no horses or 
mules were on Class II and Class III farms, on both cash-grain 
and livestock types. The larger farms also usually had both 
tractors and horses or mules more frequently than did the smaller 
farms. Among the livestock farms in each economic class, there 
were larger percentages of farms having both tractors and horses 
or mules than there were among cash-grain farms in the respec- 
tive economic classes. Farms having horses or mules and no 
tractors were relatively uncommon among all economic classes, 
but the proportion was about 11 percent of the Class VI cash-grain 
farms and about 20 percent of the Class VI livestock farms. The 
proportion of farms reporting 1 tractor, 2 tractors, or 3 or more 
tractors was strongly correlated with size of farm. The small 
farms were generally in the 1-tractor group and the larger farms 
were in the 2-tractor or 3-or-more-tractor groups. 

The average value of total investment in machinery and equip- 
ment per farm was more than $15,000 on Economic Class I cash- 
grain farms (table 39), but it was consistently less on the smaller 
sized economic classes, ranging down to $2,40-1 on cash-grain farms 
of Economic Class VI. The investment in machinery and equip- 
ment per farm averaged highest on commercial farms in the Cen- 
tral Corn Belt, but on the basis of economic class groups it was 
highest on the Class I cash-grain farms in the Southern Corn Belt 
and lowest on Class VI livestock farms in that region. 

The total investment in machinery and equipment (not including 
household equipment) on all commercial farms in the Corn Belt 
was estimated at 4.8 billion dollars (table 40). The Western, 
Central, and Eastern Corn Belt regions each accounted for over a 
billion dollars of this total. The bulk of the capital investment 
usually is found on Class II and Class III farms, although these 
are not always the groups with the most numerous farms (tables 
9 and 10). The total value of capital investment on Class V and 
Class VI farms in the Corn Belt is relatively small, but in the case 
of cash-grain farms it is more than the total investment on the large 
Class I farms in all regions except the Central Corn Belt, and in 
the case of livestock farms it is greater than the capital value on 
Class I farms in the Southern Corn Belt. 



Table 39. — Estimated Average Value of Total Investment 
IN Machinery and Equipment, Per Commercial Farm, in 
THE Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 



Type and economic class of farm 


Com 
Belt, 
total 


East- 
em 
Com 
Belt 


Cen- 
tral 
Com 
Belt 


North- 
era 
Com 
Belt 


West- 
em 
Corn 
Belt 


South- 
era 
Com 
Belt 


All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms: 
Total 


Dollars 
5,986 

6,400 
15, 026 
9.019 
6.482 
4.901 
3.669 
2,404 

6,313 
12, 774 
8,482 
6,198 
4,606 
3,256 
2,050 


Dollars 
6,913 

6,180 
15, 674 
9,233 
6, 550 
4,802 
3.630 
2,185 

6,390 
14, 655 
8,909 
6,270 
4,470 
3,278 
1,968 


Dollars 
6,697 

7,186 
14,432 
8,800 
6, 262 
4,741 
3,483 
2,618 

7,309 
12, 516 
8,464 
6,339 
4,890 
3,491 
2,228 


Dollars 
6,407 

6,635 
16, 147 
9,216 
6,546 
4,924 
3,741 
2,730 

6.884 
12. 608 
8.719 
6.349 
4.868 
3.335 
2.268 


Dollars 
6,056 

6,250 
14, 898 
8.899 
6.529 
5.075 
3.786 
2,563 

6,399 
12,016 
8,195 
6,260 
4,857 
3,533 
2,370 


Dollars 
4,937 

5,500 


Class I 

II 


17,408 
9,654 


III 


6,694 


IV 


4,931 


V 


3,649 


VI 


2,413 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total 


4,810 


Class I 


13, 392 


II 


8,352 


III 


5,748 


rv 


4,146 


V 


2,976 


VI 


1,877 







1 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

Table 40. — Estimated Value of Total Investment in Ma- 
chinery AND Equipment on Commercial Farms in the Corn 
Belt and Component Regions: 1954 



Type and economic class 
of farm 


Cora 
Beit, 
total 


Eastern 
Corn 
Belt 


Central 
Cora 
Belt 


North- 
ern 
Cora 
Belt 


Western 
Corn 
Belt 


South- 
era 
Cora 
Belt 


All commercial farms.. 

Cash-grain farms: 

Total 


t.ooo 

dollars 
4, 772, 390 

1, 693, 157 

97, 004 
669, 197 
684, 138 
304, 113 
124, 194 

23,910 

2, 062, 172 
290, 079 
708, 749 
585, 904 
308, 496 
130, 235 

38, 700 


1,000 

dollars 

1, 048, 209 

422, 074 
26,281 
129,816 
133, 936 

83, 377 
43, 435 

0,230 

328, 959 
50, 752 
115,069 

84, 101 
46, 801 
25, 609 

6,728 


1,000 

dollars 

1,124,087 

496, 130 
46, 486 
230, 658 
166, 051 
48, 121 
12, 269 
2,555 

626, 764 
101, 270 
223, 060 
131, 173 
50, 515 
16, 703 
4,044 


1,000 
dollars 
695, 690 

182,244 

6,160 

61, 785 

73, 978 

29, 600 

8,944 

1,788 

279, 661 
32,831 
103, 968 
93, 986 
38, 456 
8,324 
1,996 


1,000 

dollars 

1, 127, 503 

367, 950 
12,917 
96, 179 

145, 275 

83, 721 

26, 434 

4,424 

684, 702 
80, 974 
187,819 
175, 662 
95, 797 
34, 799 
9,652 


1.000 
dollars 
777, 001 

224, 759 


ClassI 


6,772 


II 

m 


40, 759 
74, 898 


IV 


59, 294 


V 


34,123 


VI.- 

Livestock farms: ■ 

Total 


8,913 
342, 186 


Class I 


24, 253 


II 


78, 833 


Ill 


100, 982 


IV 


76, 927 


V 


44, 901 


VI 


16,290 



I Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



31 



HORSES AND MULES 

Data on the number and distribution of horses and mules on 
Corn Belt farms are given in tables 68 to 72 along with data on 
other livestock. Horses and mules are important as work power, 
and so should be mentioned briefly at this point. 

The number of horses and mules on farms in the North Central 
States has shown a decline in every Census year since 1920. The 
total number on farms in the North Central States in 1954 was 
only about 9 percent of the number in 1920. 

In 1954 there were 451,000 horses and mules on commercial 
farms in the Corn Belt. Only 1 farm out of 4 reported horses 
or mules that year. Horses and mules were found most frequently 
on farms in the Southern Corn Belt, where they were reported on 
37.2 percent of all the commercial farms and on 43.6 percent of 
the livestock farms. They were found relatively least frequently 
(on only 10.7 percent of the farms) among cash-grain farms in the 
Eastern Corn Belt. The average number of horses and mules 
on the farms reporting was 2 in every region, on cash-grain and 
livestock farms as well as on all commercial farms. The average 
number per farm reporting was also 2 for each of the economic 
classes of farms except Class I farms where the average number 
was 3. 

AUTOMOBILES AND HOME FACILITIES 

Upwards of 90 percent of the commercial farms in the Corn 
Belt as a whole had automobiles (table 41). The proportion of 
farmers reporting automobiles varied somewhat between the 
regions, being as high as 94 percent in the Central and Northern 
Corn Belt and as low as 83 percent in the Southern Corn Belt. 
There was practically no difference between cash-grain and live- 
stock farms in the same region as to possession of automobiles. 

Practically all commercial farms in the Corn Belt have the use 
of electric current. Electricity was reported by about 97 percent 
of the farms in 1954 (table 41). The great increase in use of 
electricity on these farms is an event of the last 10 years. In 
1945, only 56.8 percent of the farms in the 5 Corn Belt States 
had the use of electricity (S). In 1945, 59 percent of the farms 
in Iowa had electricity; in 1955 the proportion was 97.6 percent. 

Telephones were reported on about 78 percent of the com- 
mercial farms. The proportion having telephones ranged from 
87 percent in the Central Corn Belt to 69 percent in the Southern 
Corn Belt. 

Television sets were reported on 1 out of every 2 cash-grain 
and live-stock farms and on only slightly fewer of the other com- 
mercial farms. The proportion was highest in the Eastern Corn 
Belt and lowest in the Northern and Southern Corn Belt. Having 
or not having a TV set depends upon being within range of a TV 
broadcasting station as well as upon having the income available 
for buying the receiving set. 

About two-thirds of the farms in the Corn Belt had piped 
running water in 1954. The proportion was highest on livestock 
farms in the Eastern Corn Belt (82.5 percent) and was lowest 
on cash-grain farms in the Southern Corn Belt (47.7 percent). 
Piped running water was more common on livestock farms than on 
cash-grain farms. Running water is an especial convenience and 
labor-saver in connection with livestock production. 

Home freezers were reported on about 45 percent of the farms 
in the Corn Belt as a whole. Generally, they were found some- 
what more frequently on livestock farms in the Eastern Corn Belt 
and were least common on commercial farms other than cash- 
grain or livestock in the Southern Corn Belt. 



In the case of automobiles and facilities such as electricity, 
telephone, TV set, and piped running water, as in the case of farm 
machinery and equipment, there was a positive correlation be- 
tween the percentage of farms reporting and size (economic class) 
of farm (table 42). For example, electricity was reported on 99.1 
percent of the Class I cash-grain farms and on 84.3 percent of the 
Class VI cash-grain farms. Piped running water was reported on 
94.8 percent of the Class I livestock farms but on only 36.9 
percent of the Class VI farms of this type. 



Table 41. — Percent of Commercial Farms in Each Type 
Reporting Specified Facilities and Equipment, in the Corn 
Belt AND Component Regions: 1954 



Region and type of farm 


Auto- 
mobile 


Elec- 
tricity 


Tele- 
phone 


Televi- 
sion set 


Piped 

running 

water 


Home 
freezer 




Percent 


Percent 


Percent 


Percent 


Percent 


Percent 


Total Com Bolt: 














AU commercial farms... 


90.5 


96.7 


78.2 


48.7 


66.7 


44.9 


Cash-grain farms... 


91.4 


95.6 


73.8 


50.5 


03.4 


43.8 


Livestock farms i.-. 


91.0 


97.4 


82.4 


60.6 


70.6 


46.5 


Eastern Corn Belt: 














AU commercial farms... 


90.0 


97.7 


76.9 


62.7 


78.8 


64.3 


Cash-grain farms 


91.2 


97.6 


73.4 


64.1 


76.0 


61.6 


Livestock farms '.,_ 


90.2 


98.2 


81.6 


65.8 


82.5 


68.8 


Central Com Belt: 














All commercial farms. . . 


94.0 


97.6 


87.3 


56.6 


72.8 


52.1 


Cash-grain farms 


94.2 


96.8 


84.1 


56.3 


68.8 


61.7 


Livestock farms '._. 


94.8 


98.6 


90.8 


60.0 


78.3 


53.5 


Northern Cora Belt: 














All commercial farms... 


94.1 


96.5 


79.1 


37.7 


M.6 


46.1 


Cash-grain farms 


94.2 


94.1 


69.9 


35.8 


55.0 


41.6 


Livestock farms '... 


94.4 


97.5 


S4.8 


41.5 


"1.3 


49.2 


Westem Cora Belt: 














All commercial farms. . . 


92.2 


95.8 


78.2 


44.0 


65.2 


37.7 


Cash-grain farms... 


92.2 


93.3 


72.3 


41.4 


67.3 


32.2 


Livestock farms i... 


92.8 


97.1 


82.0 


47.9 


71.9 


42.2 


Southern Cora Belt: 














All commercial farms... 


82.6 


95.6 


69.3 


37.9 


49.5 


34.1 


Cash-grain farms... 


83.9 


94.5 


62.0 


40 9 


47.7 


36.0 


Livestock farms '._. 


83.4 


96.0 


73.8 


38.9 


52.1 


34.3 



I Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



Table 42. — Percent of Commercial Farms in Each Type, 
BY Economic Class, Reporting Specified Facilities and 
Equipment, in the Corn Belt: 1954 



Type and economic class 
of farm 


Auto- 
mobile 


Elec- 
tricity 


Tele- 
phone 


Televi- 
sion set 


Piped 

nmning 

water 


Home 
freezer 


All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms: 

Total 


Percent 
90.5 

91.4 
98.1 
97.2 
94.0 
89.4 
82 5 
69.9 

91.0 
98.3 
96.8 
93.9 
88.7 
82.2 
68.7 


Percent 
96.7 

95.6 
99.1 
98.7 
97.2 
94.4 
90.5 
84.3 

97.4 
99.5 
99.2 
98.4 
97.0 
95.0 
88.0 


Percent 
78.2 

73.8 
90.3 
86.8 
77.3 
66.6 
59,7 
50.2 

82.4 
95.7 
91.3 
84.7 
77.3 
69.9 
60.5 


Percent 
48.7 

50.6 
74.8 
63.4 
50.8 
43.3 
40.9 
27.6 

50.6 
72.7 
62.6 
50.8 
42.0 
39.0 
25.0 


Percent 
66.7 

63.4 
90.6 
79.9 
64.9 
54.0 
48.8 
37.0 

70.6 
94.8 
86.8 
73.1 
60.3 
52.1 
36.9 


Percent 
44.9 

43.8 


Class I 


74.1 


II 


60.7 


Ill 


45.0 


IV 


34.5 


v 


28.6 


VI 


19.3 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total 


46.6 


Class I 


70.2 


II. 


59.6 


III 


47.3 


IV 


37.1 


v 


31.8 


VI . 


19.7 







' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



32 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 
FARM LABOR 



CHARACTERISTICS OF OPERATORS 

The average age of farm operators in the North Central States 
in 1954 was 49 years. This is only slightly older (about two-tenths 
of a year) than it was in 1945. In the United States as a whole, 
however, the average age of farm operators in 1954 was about a 
year older than in 1945. In the South the average age was almost 
2 years older than in 1945. 

Information on average age and age composition of operators 
gives some indication of the age of retirement and of the rate of 
replacement of older operators by younger men. From 1945 to 
1954 in the North Central States, the decrease in number of opera- 
tors under 25 years old was relatively greater than the decrease in 
number of farms. The proportion of operators 25 to 34 years of 
age in 1954 was practically the same as in 1945, while the pro- 
portion 35 to 44 years of age increased. The proportion of opera- 
tors in the 45- to 64-year group declined, but the proportion in the 
65-years-old and over group increased. This indicates that 
relatively few young men (under 25 years) had been entering 
farming during the decade, but that, on the other hand, farmers of 
25 to 44 years of age had stayed in farming to a relatively greater 
extent than the older age groups. Apparently, the farms or farm 
lands freed by the operators of age 45 and over who retired or 
departed from farming were taken up by the younger group. 
However, farmers reaching age 65 who continued to operate farms, 
were a somewhat larger proportion of the total number of farmers 
than in 1945. 

Among the factors that in recent years have deterred young men 
from becoming farm operators are, on the one hand, the relatively 
attractive opportunities and incomes in nonfarm work and, on the 
other hand, the relatively large amount of capital that is required 
to equip and operate a farm. The large capital required also tends 
to restrain a young man from going into farming until he has ac- 
cumulated more capital or obtained a stronger financial backing 
than was necessary a generation ago. 

Reports on age were obtained in the 1954 Census from prac- 
tically all farm operators. Nearly half of all the commercial farm 
operators in the Corn Belt were 35 to 54 years old in 1954. The 
largest 10-year-span age group was the 35- to 44-year group, but 
operators in the 45- to 54-year group were almost as numerous. 
Relatively few operators were under 25 years of age and the total 
number under 35 years was less than the number who were 35 to 
44 or 45 to 54 years old. About a fifth of the operators were 55 
to 64 years old and about a seventh were 65 years old or over (table 
43). Older operators were relatively most numerous in the South- 
ern and Eastern Corn Belt, while the Northern Corn Belt had the 
largest proportion of younger operators. In general, there was a 
relatively larger proportion of younger operators on cash-grain 
farms than on livestock farms. It is usually easier to get started 
in cash-grain farming than in livestock farming. Less capital is 
needed for the total investment in machinery and livestock and, 
although the land requirement is large, the land often may be 
rented. 

Class II farms had the largest percentage of operators under the 
age of 35 (table 44). On Classes I, II, and III farms, from about 
19 percent to 24 percent of the operators were under 35 years, 
while on Classes IV, V, and VI farms, this age group accounted for 
only 4 percent to 19 percent of all the operators. For both cash- 
grain and livestock farms, as we go from the large to the smaller 
sizes of farms, we find a larger proportion of the operators in the 
older age groups. Nearly 39 percent of the Class VI cash-grain 
farms and almost 47 percent of the Class VI livestock farms were 
operated by farmers 65 years old or over. 



Table 43. — Number and Percentage of Commercial Farm 
Operators, by Age, by Type of Farm, in the Corn Belt and 
Component Regions: 1954 





Operators 


Percentage distrihution of operators 




reporting age 




reporting age 




Region and type of farm 




Percent 


Total 


Age 


Age 


Age 


Age 65 




Total 


of all 
oper- 


ators 
report- 
ing 


imder 
35 


35 to 

64 


56 to 
64 


years 
and 






ators 


years 


years 


years 


over 


Total Corn Belt: 
















All commercial farms. __ 


787, 218 


98.7 


100.0 


18.6 


47.7 


20.1 


13.7 


Cash-grain farms 


260. 982 


98.7 


100.0 


20.8 


47.8 


19.2 


12.2 


Livestock farms i 


322, 886 


98.8 


100.0 


17.6 


48.1 


20.6 


13.8 


Eastern Corn Belt: 
















All commercial farms 


174, 535 


98.5 


100.0 


16.2 


44.8 


21.6 


17.5 


Cash-grain farms 


67, 159 


98.3 


100.0 


18.6 


46.9 


20.3 


15.2 


Livestock farms i 


50, 684 


98.6 


100.0 


14.9 


44.8 


22.2 


18.1 


Central Corn Belt: 
















All commercial farms 


165, 707 


98.7 


100.0 


20.6 


49.5 


18.5 


11.4 


Cash-grain farms 


68, 126 


98.7 


100. 


21.1 


48.6 


19.1 


11.2 


Livestock farms ' 


71, 263 


98.9 


100.0 


20.3 


50.9 


17.9 


10.9 


Northern Corn Belt: 
















All commercial farms 


107, 667 


99.1 


100.0 


21.6 


50.9 


17.8 


9.7 


Cash-grain farms 


27, 205 


99.0 


100.0 


21.6 


48.8 


19.0 


10.7 


Livestock farms ' 


40, 290 


99.2 


100.0 


21.3 


60.7 


18.4 


9.6 


Western Corn Belt: 
















All commercial farms 


184, 218 


98.9 


100.0 


20.7 


48.7 


19.4 


n.2 


Cash-grain farms 


68, 306 


99.0 


100.0 


23.4 


48.6 


18.0 


10.0 


Livestock farms • 


90, 392 


98.9 


100.0 


19.3 


49.3 


20.1 


U.3 


Southern Corn Belt: 
















All commercial farms 


155, 201 


98.6 


100.0 


14.2 


45.2 


22.8 


17.8 


Cash-grain farms 


40, 185 


98.3 


100.0 


19.7 


47.6 


19.6 


13.2 


Livestock farms ' 


70, 257 


98.8 


100.0 


12.1 


44.3 


24.1 


19.6 



1 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

Table 44. — Number and Percentage of Commercial Farm 
Operators, by Age, by Type and Economic Class of Farm, 
IN THE Corn Belt: 1954 





Operators 
reportmg age 


Percentage distribution of operators 
reporting age 


Type and economic class of 
farm 


Total 


Percent 
of all 
oper- 
ators 


Total 
oper- 
ators 
report- 
ing 


Age 

under 

35 

years 


Age 
35 to 

64 
years 


Age 
66 to 

64 
years 


Age 65 
years 
and 
over 


All commercial farms.. 

Cash-grain farms: 

Total 


787, 218 

260, 982 
6,414 
61, 308 
89, 259 
61. 178 
33. 187 
9,636 

322, 886 
22, 413 
82,644 
93, 789 
66, 189 
39, 349 
18, 502 


98.7 

98.7 
98.7 
98.9 
99.1 
98.6 
97.8 
96.9 

98.8 
98.7 
98.9 
99.2 
98.8 
98.4 
98.0 


100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100. 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 


18.6 

20.8 
19.6 
24.3 
22.5 
18.9 
16.7 
10.0 

17.5 
22.9 
24.1 
18.9 
13.6 
10.1 
4.1 


47.7 

47.8 
59.9 
55,2 
50.3 
42.7 
40.5 
26.4 

48.1 
65.9 
64.8 
61.9 
44.8 
37.8 
22.0 


20.1 

19.2 
14.7 
14.7 
18.2 
23.0 
22.7 
24.8 

20.6 
15.2 
15.4 
20.0 
24.8 
26.0 
27.2 


13.7 
12.2 


Class I . 


6.8 


II 


6.8 


Ill 


9.0 


rv 


15.4 


V 


20.1 


VI 


38.8 


Livestock farms: ^ 

Total 


13.8 


Class I 


6.0 


II 


6.7 


III 


9.2 


IV 


16.8 


V 


26.1 


VI 


46.7 







' Livestock other than dau-y and poultry farms. 

Less than 8 percent of the commercial farm families in the Corn 
Belt had incomes from other sources exceeding the value of all 
farm products sold (table 45). This emphasizes the importance of 
the farm business and farm incomes to the vast majority of farm 
families in the Corn Belt. The proportion of farm families with 
other incomes larger than the value of farm products sold was 
smallest in the Central and Northern Corn Belt. It was largest in 
the Ea,stern Corn Belt; there about 14 percent of the operators 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



33 



reported nonfarm incomes to themselves and members of their 
families greater than the value of farm products sold. Opportu- 
nities for nonfarm earnings are generally greatest in the Eastern 
Corn Belt because there are more cities and industrial establish- 
ments there than in other parts of the Corn Belt. A larger per- 
centage of cash-grain farmers than of livestock farmers had a 
relatively large income from nonfarm sources, reflecting tlie greater 
amount of time available for nonfarm activities by cash-grain 
farmers at some seasons of the year. 

Somewhat more than two-thirds of the farm operators in the 
Corn Belt who gave information as to off-farm work reported none 
at all. Off-farm work includes work on farms other than the oper- 



ator's own farm as well as jobs in industrial plants and in nonfarm 
occupations. The proportion of operators not doing any off-farm 
work was largest in the Western Corn Belt and smallest in the 
Eastern Corn Belt. Most of the operators who did some off-the- 
farm work worked less than 100 days at such activities. The group 
of operators who spent the most time at off-farm work was among 
tlie cash-grain farmers in the Eastern Corn Belt. About 18 per- 
cent of these worked 200 or more days off their farms in 1954. 

The economic classes of farms with the largest percentages of 
farms reporting other income exceeding the value of farm products 
sold were Classes IV and V (table 46). The relatively low farm 
incomes on these farms make outside sources of income more urgent 



Table 45. — Number and Percentage of Commercial Farm Operators Reporting as to Other Income and Off-Farm Work, by 
Type of Farm, in the Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 





Operators with other 
income exceeding value 
of farm products sold ' 


Operators reporting as 
to off-farm work 


Percentage distribution of operators reporting as 
work 


;o off-farm 


Region and type of farm 


Operators 
reporting 


Percent 

ofaU 
operators 


Total 
operators 
reporting 


Percent 

of all 
operators 


Total 
operators 
reporting 


Not 
working 
off farm 


Working off farm — 




lto99 
days 


100 to 199 

days 


200 days 
or more 


Total Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms -- 


60, 409 
23.056 
21,584 

25, 456 
11,411 
6,881 

7,392 
2.991 
2,969 

3,898 
1,282 
1,260 

8,742 
2,798 
4,061 

14, 921 
4,574 
6,410 


7.6 
8.7 
6.6 

14.4 
16.7 
13.4 

4.4 
4,3 
4.1 

3.6 
4.7 
3.1 

4.7 
4.8 
4.4 

9.5 
11.2 
9.0 


769. 593 
254, 731 
316, 900 

169, 203 
66,239 
49,096 

161, 359 
65, 978 
69, 590 

105, 224 
26, 653 
39, 335 

181, 090 

87, 308 

88, 808 

152, 657 
39, 553 
69, 071 


96 5 
96,3 
96 7 

95.5 
95,6 
95.4 

96.1 
95.6 
96.6 

96.9 
97.0 
96.9 

97.3 
97.3 
97.2 

97.0 
96.8 
97.1 


100.0 
100 
100,0 

100.0 
100,0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100,0 
100,0 
100.0 

100,0 
100,0 
100,0 

100,0 
100.0 
100.0 


67.9 
63 5 
71,5 

60,0 
55 1 
63.6 

71.0 
68.4 
73,5 

71,8 
67.5 
73.6 

72 
67.8 
75.4 

66 
60,2 
68.9 


21,5 
23 3 
20,0 

19 3 
20,3 
18.2 

22, 1 
23 6 
20.8 

22,6 
24.3 
22.1 

21.5 
24.7 
18.9 

22,4 
25.2 
20.5 


3.4 
4.4 
2.5 

5.4 
6 2 
4,5 

2 4 
3,0 
1.8 

2.0 

3 2 
1.3 

2 4 

3 3 
1.8 

4,3 

6,9 
3,6 


7.2 




8.8 


Livestock farms ^ . 


6.0 


Eastern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms ._ 


15.3 




18.4 


Livestock farms 2 


13.7 


Central Corn Belt: 


4.6 




5 


Livestock farms ^ , 


3.9 


Northern Cora Belt: 


3,6 


Cash-^ain farms.. 


6,0 


Livestock farms ^ 


3,0 


Western Corn Belt: 


4.1 


Cash-grain farms . .. 


4,2 


Livestock farms ^ 


3,9 


Southern Corn Belt: 


7.3 


Cash-grain farms . 


8,7 




7.0 







1 Farm operators with other mcome of family exceeding value of farm products sold. 

2 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



Table 46. — Number and Percentage of Commercial Farm Operators Reporting as to Other Income and Off-Farm Work, 

BY Type and Economic Class of Farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 





Operators with other 
income exceeding value 
of farm products sold ' 


Operators reporting as 
to oH-farm work 


Percentage distribution 


of operators reporting as 
work 


to off-farm 


Type and economic class of farm 


Operators 
reporting 


Percent 

of all 
operators 


Total 
operators 
reportmg 


Percent 

of all 
operators 


Total 
operators 
reportmg 


Not 
working 
off farm 


Working off farm — 




1 to99 
days 


100 to 199 
days 


200 days 
or more 


All commercial farms _. 


60, 409 

23,056 

107 

911 

3.498 

8,044 

10, 496 


7.6 

8.7 
1.6 
1.5 
3.9 
13,0 
30.9 


769, 593 

264, 731 
6,233 
59, 658 
87, 030 
69, 849 
32, 754 
9,207 

315, 900 

22, 044 
80, .S.S6 
91. 409 
64. 764 
38, 754 
17, 983 


96 5 

96.3 
96.0 
96 2 
96 6 
96 5 
96.5 
92.6 

96 7 

97 1 
96 8 
96,8 
96,7 
96 9 
95.2 


100,0 

100,0 
100.0 
100,0 
100,0 
100 
100,0 
100,0 

100.0 
100.0 
100,0 
100,0 
100 
100,0 
lOO.O 


67.9 

63,5 

72.7 
70,5 
66,6 
59, 1 
46,0 
74.0 

71.6 
77 3 
74.4 
74, 1 
68,1 
66.9 
81.7 


21.6 

23.3 

22.6 
26.3 
2,5.0 
21,7 
17.3 
26.0 

20.0 
19.2 
22.4 
20,6 
18.9 
16 3 
18.3 


3.4 

4.4 
1.6 
1.9 
3.7 
6,3 
8,9 


7.2 


Cash-grain farms: 

Total 


8.8 


Glass I 


3.1 


II _ _ 


2.3 


III . 


4.8 


IV 


12.9 


V 


27.8 


VI 




Livestock farms: 3 

Total 


21, 684 

442 

1,215 

2,669 

6,714 

10, 544 


6.6 
1.9 
1,5 
2,8 
10,0 
26,4 


2,6 
1.2 
1.2 
2 1 
3,9 
6,1 


6,0 


Class I 


2 3 


II- 


2 


III 


3.2 


rv... 


9.1 


v 


20.7 


VI 













* Farm operators with other income of family exceedhig value of farm products sold. 

* Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



34 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



than on the larger farms. Class VI farms have the lowest farm 
incomes (value of products sold) of all the economic classes of 
farms. But, by definition, these farms do not include any farms 
on which other sources of income exceeded the value of farm 
products sold nor any farms on which the operator worked 100 or 
more days at off-farm work. The proportion of operators not doing 
any off-farm work declines consistently as we go from Class I to 
Class V farms of both the cash-grain and livestock types. The 
percentage of farm operators working 100 or more days off the 
farm also increases as the size of farm decreases, exclusive of the 
Class VI farms. Approximately 28 percent of the Class V cash- 
grain farm operators and 21 percent of the Class V livestock farm 
operators worked 200 days or more off their farms in 1954. 

It is rather significant that even among the larger economic 
classes of livestock farms, which ordinarily require some labor 
throughout the year, about 23 to 26 percent of the operators found 
time for some off-farm work. This may indicate that many oper- 
ators of small farms could spend more time in such work than 
they now do, if the employment were available. From the stand- 
point of work on his own farm, the role of mechanization in freeing 
the farmer from long hours of manual labor is a decided factor in 
making more off-farm work possible. 

SIZE AND COMPOSITION OF LABOR FORCE 

Family-operated farms are the prevailing and predominant kind 
in the Corn Belt. Upwards of 95 percent of the commercial farms 
in most of the belt reported some family or hired workers during 
the specified week of the 1954 Census (table 47). Farms reporting 
hired labor were only half as numerous as were farms reporting 
operator and family labor onl}'. From 39 percent to 51 percent 



Table 47- — Number and Percentage of Commercial Farms, 
BY Kind of Farm Workers, by Type of Farm, in the Corn 
Belt and Component Regions, in Specified Week: 1954 ' 





Farms report- 
ing family 
and/or hired 
workers 


Percentage distribution of farms 
reporting— 


Region and type of farm 


Farms 
report- 
ing 


Per- 
cent 
of all 
farms 


Family 
and/or 
hired 

workers 


Oper- 
ator 
only 


Unpaid 

family 

workers 

only 


Oper- 
ator 
and 
family 
workers 
only 


Hired 
work- 
ers 3 


Total Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms 3 _. 

Eastern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livcstocic farms 3 _. 

Central Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Casli-grain farms 

Livestock farms 3 

Northern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms. 

Livestock farms 3 

Western Com Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms 3 _ _ 

Southern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-gram farms 

Livestock farms' 


761, 668 
247, 924 
315, 891 

165, 476 
62. 727 
48, 540 

161,171 
65, 109 
70,230 

105, 042 
25, 879 
39, 778 

178, 902 
55, 618 
88, 736 

151,077 
38, 591 
68,607 


95.5 
93.7 
96.7 

93.3 
91.8 
94.3 

96.0 
94.3 
97.4 

96.8 
94.2 
98.0 

96.1 
94.5 
97.1 

96.0 
94.4 
96.4 


100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 


46.8 
50.8 
46.1 

49.3 
53.5 
48.9 

45.8 
48.7 
43.7 

39.3 
45.8 
39.0 

46.1 
50.0 
45.0 

51.0 
64.6 
52.1 


1.2 
1.2 
1.1 

1.5 
1.4 
1.3 

1.1 
1.1 
1.1 

1.2 
1.2 
0.9 

1.1 
1.0 
1.0 

1.2 
1.3 
1.1 


34.1 
30.0 
33.0 

30.4 
27.5 
27.1 

29.8 
25.8 
31.0 

40.0 
34.3 
38.2 

37.0 
35.2 
35.5 

35.4 
30.9 
32.8 


17.9 
18.0 
19.8 

18.8 
17.6 
22.7 

23.3 
24.4 
24.2 

19.6 
18.6 
21.9 

15.8 
13.8 
18.5 

12.5 
13.2 
13.9 



' The specified week for which information on farm labor was obtained in the 1954 
Census was as follows for the States included or partly Included in the Corn Belt: 
September 26-Oct .her 2 for Mmnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, South Dakota, Nebraska, 
Kansas, and Kentucky; October 24-30 lor Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri. 

' Total of farms reporting hired workers and family workers and farms reporting 
hired workers only. 

' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



of the farms in tlie different regions of the Corn Belt reported oper- 
ators only, with no family or hired workers. This percentage was 
highest in the Southern Corn Belt and lowest in the Northern Corn 
Belt. It was higher on cash-grain farms than on livestock farms. 
Operator and family workers only, with no hired workers, were 
reported on 34 percent of the farms. Only 18 percent of all the 
commercial farms reported hired workers, but this percentage 
ranged from about 24 percent on cash-grain farms in the Central 
Corn Belt down to 13 percent on cash-grain farms in the Southern 
Corn Belt. 

The number of farms reporting expenditures for hired labor is 
greater than the number of farms reporting hired workers in the 
specified week of September or October. This is so because ex- 
penditures were reported for labor even if the labor were used for 
a very short time. The average number of hired workers during 
the specified week was approximately the same as the average 
number for the year in the Corn Belt States. 

The proportion of farms reporting different kinds and combina- 
tions of farmworkers is related to economic class or size of farm 
(table 48). For example, only 13.2 percent of the Class I cash- 
grain farms reported operator labor only, but 70.5 percent of these 
farms reported hired workers. At the other extreme, 77. 1 percent 
of Class VI cash-grain farms reported operator labor only, whUe 
only 2.8 percent reported hired workers. The largest percentages 
of farms reporting operator and family workers only were found in 
Classes II, III, and IV among both cash-grain and livestock 
farms. These are, in general, the most typical sizes and types 
of farms in the Corn Belt. 

In order to make an estimate of the total quantity of labor on 
the various types and sizes of farms it is necessary to use a com- 
mon denominator for the different kinds of labor. All labor 
reported was therefore converted to man-equivalents. A man- 
equivalent is taken to be an average full-time mature worker, or 
the equivalent of a man working full time for a year. 

The total number of farm operators is the same as the number 
of farms. In converting the number of operators to man-equiva- 
lents, adjustments were made for the estimated man-years of work 



Table 48. — Number and Percentage of Commercial Farms, 
by Kind of Farm Workers, by Type and Economic Class 
of Farm, in the Corn Belt, in Specified Week: 1954 ' 





Farms report- 
ing family 
and/or hired 
workers 


Percentage distribution of farms 
reporting— 


Type and economic class of 
farm 


Farms 

report- 

mg 


Per- 
cent 
of aU 
farms 


Family 
and/or 
hired 

workers 


Oper- 
ator 
only 


Unpaid 

family 

workers 

only 


Oper- 
ator 
and 
family 
workers 
only 


Hired 
work- 
ers ' 


All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms: 
Total 


761, 668 

247, 924 
6,381 
60, 101 
85, 871 
57, 170 
29,997 
8,404 

315, 891 
22, 481 
82.089 
92, 167 
64,321 
37,621 
17, 212 


95.5 

93.7 
98.2 
96.9 
95.3 
92.1 
88.4 
84.5 

96.7 
99.0 
98.2 
97.5 
96.0 
94.1 
91.2 


100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 

100.0 


46.8 

50.8 
13.2 
37.0 
49.9 
58.7 
66.9 
77.1 

46.1 
18.7 
36.8 
45.6 
61.4 
62.2 
73.7 


1.2 

1.2 
0.5 
1.0 
1.1 
1.4 
1.6 
1.2 

1.1 
0.6 
0.7 
1.1 
1.2 
1.7 
1.4 


34.1 

30.0 
15.8 
29.7 
33.9 
30.4 
25.3 
18.9 

33.0 
17.5 
32.8 
37.7 
36.8 
29.8 
21.7 


17.9 
18.0 


Class I 


70.6 


II. 


32.4 


ni 


15.1 


IV.. 


9.6 


V 


6.2 


VI. 


2.8 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total 


19.8 


Class I 


63.3 


II. 


29.7 


Ill 


15.6 


IV. 


10.6 


V 


6.3 


VI. 


3.2 







1 The specified week for which information on farm labor was obtained in the 1954 
Census was as follows for the States included or partly included in the Corn Belt: 
September 26-October 2 for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, South Dakota, Nebraska, 
Kansas, and Kentucky; October 24-30 for Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri. 

2 Total of farms reporting hired workers and family workers and farms reporting hired 
workers only. 

3 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



35 



off the farm and for work done by operators 65 years old and over. 
A farm operator was counted as a full man-equivalent unless he 
was 05 years old or over or unless he did some off-farm work in 
1954. Farm operators 65 years of age and over were counted as 
0.5 man-equivalent. Operators reporting specified amounts of 
off-farm work were converted to man-equivalents as follows: 

Days work off the farm Man-equivalent 

1 to 99 days 0. 85 

100 to 199 days . 50 

200 days or more .15 

Unpaid familj' workers, according to the Census, were members 
of the operator's family who did 15 or more hours of work on the 
farm during the week of September 26 to October 2 or during the 
week of October 24 to October 30, without receiving cash wages 
(see table 47, footnote 1). Each unpaid family worker reported 
by the Census was counted as 0.5 man-cciuivalcnt in the present 
study. This adjustment to man-equivalents takes into account 
the usually large proportion of women, children, and elderly 
persons in the unpaid family labor force. 

The number of man-equivalents of hired workers was computed 
from the expenditure for hired wages reported in the Census. A 
composite average annual wage rate was determined for each 
economic subregion. In the Corn Belt the wage rates ranged 
from about SI, 600 to S2,200. The total expenditure for hired 
labor in each subregion was divided by the estimated average 
annual wage rate in the subregion to obtain the man-equivalent 
number of hired workers. 

The average quantity of all labor per commercial farm in the 
Corn Belt in 1954 was 1.3 man-equivalents. This amounts to 
the same as one man working full time at farmwork for a year 
and a second man working for about a third of the year. Most 
of the labor used was that of the farm operator (table 49). The 
labor of operators amounted to an average of 0.8 of a man-equiva- 
lent per farm, while the labor of unpaid family workers and of 
hired workers averaged 0.3 and 0.2 man-equivalents, respectively. 

On the average, farm operators accounted for about two-thirds 
of all the labor resources on commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 
1954. Unpaid members of the operator's family accounted for 
about a fourth, and hired workers for about a sixth of the work. 
The average quantity of total labor used per farm did not differ 
greatly between regions and types of farms in the Corn Belt. But 
it was highest on livestock farms in the Northern Corn Belt and 
lowest on cash-grain farms in the Eastern Corn Belt. Hired labor 
did not average more than 0.2 man-equivalent per farm in any 
region of the Corn Belt. 

Large farms had more labor of all kinds than did small farms. 
The average quantity of total labor per commercial farm ranged 
from 2.4 man-equivalents on Class I cash-grain farms down to 
0.8 man-equivalent on Class V and Class VI cash-grain farms and 
livestock farms (table 50). Classes IV, V, and VI farms had 
less operator labor as well as less unpaid family and hired labor 
per farm than that on Classes I, II, and III farms. Only on the 
large Class I farms did hired labor account for as much as half 
the labor used. On Class I cash-grain farms, hired labor averaged 
1.2 man-equivalents per farm. On Classes IV, V, and VI farms, 
the quantity of hired labor was very small. 

The factor 0.5 as a man-equivalent for unpaid family labor may 
be somewhat low. This may be especially true on farms where 
work is relatively light or highly mechanized. For jobs that are 
done by machine, a boy or girl or an elderly person can often ac- 
complish practically as much as a man in the prime of life. The 
younger person generally requires more supervision than a ma- 
ture person who is experienced. But many of the jobs on the 
farm are routine or mechanized, for example, feeding livestock, 
other livestock chores, milking cows, driving a tractor for plowing 
or cultivating, or hauling produce to market by automobile or 



truck. It is believed, therefore, that the computed man-equiva- 
lent of unpaid family labor used in this study is rather conserva- 
tive and that family labor is relatively even more important com- 
pared with hired labor than indicated by the data in tables 49 
and 50. However, even if factors as much as a third larger had 
been used for unpaid family labor and for operators of age 65 and 
over, the estimated total labor per farm would have been increased 
by less than 0.2 of a man-equivalent. From the standpoint of 
labor used, it is clear that the typical farm in the Corn Belt is the 
familv-sized farm. 



Table 49. — L.abor Force of Farm Workers E.xpressed in 
Terms of Average Number of M.-^n-Equivalents Per 
Farm, by Type of Farm, in the Corn Belt and Component 
Regions: 1954 





Average number of man-equivalents per farm 


Region and type of farm 


Total 
labor 


Operator 
labor 


Unpaid 
family 
labor 


Hired 
labor 


Total Corn Belt: 


1.3 
1.2 
1.3 

1.2 
1.0 
1.1 

1.3 
1.2 
1.3 

1.4 
1.2 
1.6 

1.3 
1.2 
1.3 

1.2 
1.1 
1.2 


0.8 
0.8 
0.8 

0.7 
0.7 
0.7 

0.8 
0.8 
0.8 

0.8 
0.8 
0.9 

0.8 
0.8 
0.8 

0.8 
0.8 
0.8 


0.3 
0.3 
0.3 

0.3 
0.2 
0.2 

0.3 
0.2 
0.3 

0.4 
0.3 
0.4 

0.3 
0.3 
0.3 

0.3 
0.2 
0.3 


0.2 
0.1 
0.2 

0.2 
0.1 
0.2 

0.2 


Cash-grain farms 




Eastern Com Belt: 


Cash-grain farms 




Central Corn Belt: 






0.2 

0.2 
0.1 
0.2 

2 


Northern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms.. 

Cash-grain farms 




Western Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 








0.2 

0.1 
0.1 
1 


Southern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms .. 


Cash-grain farms 

Livestocic farms '... 







> Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



Table 50. — Labor Force of Farm Workers, E.xpressed in 
Terms of Average Number of Man-Equivalents Per Farm, 
BY Type and Economic Class of Farm, in the Corn Belt: 
1954 





Average number of man-equivalents per farm 


Type and economic class of farm 


Total 
labor 


Operator 
labor 


Unpaid 
family 
labor 


Hired 
labor 


All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms: 
Total. 


1.3 

1.2 
2.4 
1.4 
1.2 
1.0 
0.8 
0.8 

1.3 
2.3 
1.6 
1.3 
1.2 
0.8 
0.8 


0.8 

0.8 
0.9 
0.9 
0.8 
0.7 
0.6 
0.7 

0.8 
0.9 
0.9 
0.9 
0.8 
0.6 
0.7 


0.3 

0.3 
0.3 
0.3 
0.3 
0.2 
0.2 
0.1 

0.3 
0.3 
0.3 
0.3 
0.3 
0.2 
0.1 


0.2 
1 


Class I 




11... 


2 


Ill 




IV 


(Z) 
(Z) 
(Z) 

0.2 
1 1 


V . 


VI 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total 

Class I 


II 




Ill ... 


1 


IV 




V 


(Z) 


VI 


CZ) 





Z 0.05 percent or less. 

1 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



36 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



CROP PRODUCTION 



CROPS GROWN 

Soils and climate of the Corn Belt are favorable for the produc- 
tion of a wide variety of crops. With the exception of cotton, 
tobacco, citrus fruits, and other crops which require a milder 
climate and a longer growing season, almost any temperate-zone 
crop can be grown successfully here. The principal crops that 
have been adopted by the farmers are corn, soybeans, oats, wheat, 
barley, rye, and a wide variety of hay and pasture crops. These 
crops have generally shown the relatively greatest advantage in 
terms of contribution of farm income. 

On almost every farm at least 2 or 3 kinds of crops are produced 
every year. The combination of crops, or the principal crops, 
grown on a farm vary somewhat from one part of the Corn Belt 
to another. On some farms, there are fields where corn is grown 
for several years in succession without alternating with other 
crops; but most farmers try to follow some system of crop 
sequence or crop rotation in which a number of crops will be 
grown successively on the land over a series of years. Some of 
the typical cropping systems or crop rotations are the following: 
Corn, oats, meadow; corn, corn, oats, meadow; corn, corn, oats 
(with sweetclover) ; corn, soybeans, oats, meadow; corn, soybeans, 
wheat, meadow; corn, soybeans, wheat or oats. The meadow 
crop is used for pasture or hay. In frequent cases the meadow 
crop (which may be clover, alfalfa, or combinations of clovers 
and grasses) will occupy the land for 2 or 3 years. Sweetclover 
seeded with oats or with other small grain is grown prima- 
rily for plowing under for soil improvement. 

Farms reporting specified crops. — Corn is the most widely 
grown crop in the Corn Belt. It was reported on 91 percent of all 
the commercial farms in 1954. About 92 percent of the corn 
acreage for all purposes was harvested for grain. The remainder 
was harvested for silage or fodder, or was hogged down or grazed. 
The acreages harvested for silage or fodder were generally largest 
relative to the total corn acreage near the fringes of the Corn Belt. 
For example, along the northern fringe, where dairy farms are 
relatively numerous, the percentage of the crop harvested for silage 
is relatively high. 



Corn harvested for grain was reported on 87.6 percent of all the 
commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 (table 51). The crop 
was produced for grain on 95.2 percent of the cash-grain farms 
and on 85.8 percent of the livestock farms. The proportion of 
farmers producing corn for grain was highest on cash-grain farms 
in the Central Corn Belt (98.9 percent), and lowest on livestock 
farms in the Southern Corn Belt (71.5 percent). 

Soybeans have become a major crop in the Corn Belt during 
the last 20 years. The expansion of this crop has been tremendous 
(4, 8). Soybeans for beans now rank second only to corn in total 
value of production among crops in the Corn Belt. Soybeans 
harvested for beans were reported on 41.2 percent of all the com- 
mercial farms and on 65.5 percent of the cash-grain farms in 1954. 
In the Central Corn Belt, the area of heaviest concentration, 82.2 
percent of the cash-grain farmers grew soybeans. They were 
grown by a considerably larger proportion of the cash-grain 
farmers than of the livestock farmers in all regions of the Corn 
Belt. This reflects' the fact that soybeans are rather strictly a 
cash crop; practically the entire quantity is sold by the farmers. 
The Western Corn Belt had the smallest percentage of farmers 
reporting soybeans for beans. This part of the Corn Belt includes 
the western fringe of the area to which soybeans are adapted. 
The crop was reported on only 22.7 percent of the cash-grain farms 
and 12.4 percent of the livestock farms in this region. Only 2 
percent of all the commercial farms reported soybeans cut for hay. 
The proportion was highest in the Southern Corn Belt and lowest 
in the Western Corn Belt. 

Oats were harvested for grain on about 3 out of every 4 com- 
mercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954. Oats are the most popu- 
lar small grain used as a companion crop (sometimes referred to 
as nurse crop) for new seedings of clover, alfalfa, or of other 
legumes and grasses grown for forage or soil improvement. The 
oat crop is harvested in late June or early July, leaving the young 
legume and grass plants to grow and develop for later use as 
forage or for plowing under. In the Northern Corn Belt, oats 
for grain (threshed or combined) were reported by almost as many 
farmers as reported corn for grain. In other regions of the Corn 
Belt also oats were a leading crop, being found on 2 to 3 out of 
every 4 farms. 



Table 51. — Percent of Farms Reporting Specified Crops, by Type of Farm, in the Corn Belt and Component Regions:1954 



Region and type of farm 


Corn har- 
vested for 
grain 


Soybeans 
harvested 
for beans 


Wheat 

threshed 

orcombined 


Oats 
threshed or 
combined 


Barley 
threshed or 
combined 


Rye 
threshed or 
combined 


Soybeans 

cut tor 

hay 


Red clover 
seed har- 
vested 


Irish 
potatoes 
harvested 


Vegetables 

harvested 

for sale 


Land hi 

fruit or- 

chards.etc' 


Total Corn Belt: 


Percent 
87.6 
95.2 
85.8 

89.0 
97.3 
85.2 

94.3 
98.9 
93 

94.2 
96.5 
94.4 

89.2 
95.0 

87.7 

72.6 
84.5 
71.5 


Percent 
41.2 
65.5 
26.8 

50. 1 
74.7 
35.7 

65.8 
82.2 
34.2 

39.8 
72.1 
25.2 

16.7 
22.7 
12.4 

46,8 
79.1 
32. 1 


Percent 
35. C 
60. 1 
24.9 

63.2 
73,1 
57.9 

13.9 
23.9 
6.6 

7, 6 
13,5 
4.6 

37.2 
69.5 
23. 1 

45.4 
66.8 
33.5 


Percent 
72.4 
72.2 
74.8 

61.3 
62.1 
61.3 

85 7 
85.6 
88.5 

90.8 
90.6 
92.0 

72.6 
71.0 
75.3 

57.6 
56.0 
60 


Percent 
6.6 
5 4 
5.2 

5.2 
3.9 

7.2 

1.4 
1.6 
1.6 

7.6 
13.2 
5.4 

4.8 
6.1 
4.6 

lao 

9.6 

8 4 


Percent 
4.3 
5 1 
3.8 

8.2 
9.3 

8.4 

1.9 
2.4 
1.4 

1.4 
2.8 
0.9 

3.6 
3.4 
3.6 

6.6 
7.0 
4.9 


Percent 
2.0 
1.8 
1.4 

2.9 
2.3 
2.6 

0.9 
1.1 
0.6 

0,6 
0,3 
0.4 

3 
0-2 
0.3 

6.4 
5.4 
3.6 


Percent 
4.1 
4.8 
3 5 

7.5 
9.0 
5.5 

3.6 
3.6 
3.8 

2.7 
2.6 
3.0 

1.6 
1.5 
1.9 

4.7 
6.4 
3.9 


Percent 
200 
16.0 
21.4 

13.1 
10-6 
12.6 

12.6 
9.1 
14-7 

18 
14.2 
17.1 

23.2 
19.4 
24.4 

33.0 
26.5 
33.1 


Percent 
2.1 
2.1 
1.0 

3.8 
3.1 

1.8 

2.5 
2.6 
1.3 

3 2 
3.6 

1.7 

0,6 
0.5 
0.3 

1.0 
0.8 
0-4 


Percent 
5.2 


Cash-grain farms 


3.6 




5.6 


Eastern Corn Belt: 

All commi rcial farms. 


4.3 




3 1 


Livestoclv farms 2. _ 


3.6 


Central Corn Belt: 


5.2 


Casli-grain farms 


4.0 


Livestock farms ' 


5.7 


Northern Corn Belt: 


2.9 


Cash-grain farms 


2.1 




3.1 


Western Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms. 


4.8 


Casli-grain farms _ 


3.6 




6.1 


Southern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms __ 


8.4 




4.8 




8.8 







' Land in bearing and nonbearing fruit orcbards, groves, vineyards, and planted nut trees. ^ Livestock otber than dairy and poultry farms. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



37 



Wheat was produced on slightly more than a third of all the 
commercial farms in the Corn Belt. Most of this is winter wheat. 
Soft red winter wheat is the kind most generally grown in the 
Eastern and Southern Corn Belt and hard red winter wheat is 
grown mainly in the Central and Western Corn Belt. The range 
in percentage of farms reporting wheat was from 4.6 percent of 
the livestock farms in the Northern Corn Belt to 73.1 percent of 
the cash-grain farms in the Eastern Corn Belt. Wheat was a 
relatively unimportant small grain in comparison with oats in the 
Northern Corn Belt, but in the Eastern Corn Belt wheat was 
produced on more farms than was oats. The Northern Corn 
Belt is not well adapted to production of winter wheat, because 
of frequent losses from winter killing. On the other hand, this 
area is not as well adapted to spring wheat as the area to the 
northwest of the Corn Belt. 

Barley was grown on relatively few farms, especially in the 
Central Corn Belt. In the Northern Corn Belt, which is the part 
best adapted to production of malting barley, 13.2 percent of the 
cash-grain farmers reported growing barley in 1954. 

Rye was grown for grain on only 4.3 percent of the commercial 
farms and mainly in the eastern, southern, and western portions 
of the Corn Belt. On some additional farms rye was grown as 
a winter cover crop or for fall and spring pasture. 

Flax was an important cash crop in the extreme northwestern 
part of the Corn Belt, particularly in Economic Subregion 87, in 
Minnesota and South Dakota. In this part of the Northern Corn 
Belt, flax,seed threshed or combined was reported in 1954 on more 
than half the farms in about a dozen counties. 

Only 4.1 percent of the commercial farmers in the Corn Belt 
leported red clover seed harvested in 1954. The number of Corn 
Belt farmers producing red clover seed has declined as competition 
with seed producers in other parts of the country has increased. 
However, 9 percent of the cash-grain farms in the Eastern Corn 
Belt and 6.4 percent of the cash-grain farms in the Southern Corn 
Belt reported red clover seed harvested. 

Irish potatoes were reported on a fifth of the commercial farms 
in the Corn Belt in 1954. Most of the potatoes grown in the 
Corn Belt are for household use on the farms where grown. 
Twenty years ago, more than half the farmers produced some 
potatoes for home use or for sale. During the last 20 years, 
potato production has become increasingly concentrated on farms 
of specialized growers in a relatively few areas in about a dozen 
States — all outside of the Corn Belt — while potato production as 
a small enterprise has been discontinued on a large proportion of 
farms throughout the country. Only in the Southern Corn Belt 



did more than 25 percent of the farmers report potatoes harvested 
for home use or for sale, in 1954. 

Vegetable production for sale was reported on only 2.1 percent 
of all the commercial farms in the Corn Belt. Sweet corn, toma- 
toes, watermelons, and green peas are some of the leading vege- 
table crops in terms of acreage and value of production. Farms 
reporting vegetables harvested for sale were relatively most 
numerous in the Eastern and Northern Corn Belt. 

Land in fruit orchards, vineyards, and nut trees was rejiorted 
on 5.2 percent of the commercial farms, not including those that 
had less than 20 trees or grapevines. Farmers reporting this 
item were found in small numbers throughout the Corn Belt, 
but were relatively fewest on cash-grain farms in all regions. 
The principal fruits grown were apples, grapes, peaches, pears, 
cherries, and plums. The principal nut trees were black walnuts 
and pecans. 

On both the cash-grain and livestock farms larger percentages 
of the Classes I, II, and III farms than of the Classes IV, V, and 
VI farms produced corn for grain, soybeans for beans, and wheat, 
oats, barley, and rye for grain (table 52). In general, the per- 
centage of farms reporting these crops declines from class to class 
as we go from Class I farms to Class VI farms. On cash-grain 
farms, corn harvested for grain was reported on 98.9 percent of 
tlie Class I farms, but on only 81.2 percent of the Class VI farms 
On livestock farms, corn for grain was reported on 94.5 percent 
of the Class I farms and on only 48.8 percent of the Class VI 
farms. Only 34.5 percent of the Class VI cash-grain farms grew 
soybeans for beans and only 22.7 percent of the Class VI livestock 
farms grew oats for grain. 

The relatively small proportions of Class V and Class VI farms 
reporting corn and other principal crops can be explained largely 
by the land-use pattern on these smaller income classes of farms. 
As shown above (table 27), these farms had a significantly smaller 
projiortion of their total farm acreage in cropland harvested and 
a larger proportion in cropland used only for pasture, cropland 
neither harvested nor pastured, woodland pastured, and pasture 
other than cropland or woodland than was the case for the larger 
income classes of farms. 

Soybeans cut for hay were reported on larger percentages of 
the Classes IV, V, and VI farms than of the Classes I, II, and III 
farms. This may have been related to the presence more fre- 
quently on the smaller farms of small tracts of cropland that are 
relatively inconvenient for combining or other grain harvesting 
operations. In other cases it may reflect a more frequent occur- 
rence on small farms of insufficient quantities of perennial or 
biennial legume hays, such as alfalfa and clover. 



Table 52. — Percent of Farms Reporting Specified Crops, by Economic Class of Farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 



Type and economic class ot larm 


Corn har- 
vested for 
grain 


Soybeans 
harvested 
for heans 


Wheat 

threshed 

or combined 


Oats 
threshed or 
combtaed 


Barley 
threshed or 
combined 


Rye 
threshed or 
combined 


Soybeans 

cut for 

hay 


Red clover 
seed har- 
vested 


Irish 
potatoes 
harvested 


Vegetables 

harvested 

for sale 


Land In 

fruit or- 

chards,etc.' 


All commercial farms 


Percent 
87.6 

95 2 
98.9 
98.6 
97.2 
94.4 
88.2 
81.2 

85 8 
94.6 
96.7 
92.8 
82.8 
65 9 
48.8 


Percent 
41.2 

65.6 
86.6 
80.6 
68.5 
67.6 
49.3 
34.6 

26.8 
36.2 
38.2 
2>.) 2 
20.6 
11.9 
6.2 


Percent 
36 6 

60.1 
64.7 
60 1 
60.7 
62,7 
47.1 
29.1 

24.9 
29 4 
28.8 
28 
24.5 
16,0 
6.7 


Percent 
72.4 

72.2 
80.7 
83.6 
79.6 
67.7 
49.8 
34.0 

74.8 
86.3 
89.6 
85 
70.2 
46 2 
22.7 


Percent 
6 6 

5.4 
6.6 
6 7 
6.0 
6 4 
4.0 
1.8 

6 2 
6.7 
6.2 
6 9 
4.9 
3.0 
1.3 


Percent 
4,3 

5 1 
9,4 
5.4 

6 4 
4.8 
4.6 
2.9 

3.8 
6 3 
4.2 
4.2 
3.6 
2.9 
1.4 


Percent 
2 

1 8 
0,8 
1.0 
1.5 
2.1 
3.1 
3.5 

1.4 

0.4 
0.7 
1. 1 
1.9 
2,8 
3.1 


Percent 
4 1 

4.8 
6 7 
6 3 
5.4 
4.4 
2.6 
0.7 

3 5 
3.7 
4.6 
4.2 
3.0 
1.6 
0.5 


Percent 
20,0 

16 
7.6 
10.6 
16 
16.9 
18.9 
22,6 

21.4 
11.0 
16.2 
21.7 
24.9 
26.7 
31.0 


Percent 
2.1 

2.1 
6 
3 1 
1.9 
1.4 
1.6 
1.6 

1.0 
2 3 
1.2 
0.8 
0.6 
0.8 
0.7 


Percent 
5.2 


Cash-grain farms; 

Total 


3.6 


Class I 


4.8 


II 


3.6 


Ill 


3.3 


rv 


3.8 


V 

VI 


3 8 
3.6 


Livestock farms: > 

Total -. 


6.5 


Class I --. 


6.6 


XL -- 


5 3 


III 


5 3 


rv -- . 


6.8 


V - 


6.2 


VI 


6.6 







' Land in bearing and nonbearing fruit orchards, groves, vineyards, and planted nut 
trees. 



> Livestock other thun dairy and poultry farms. 



38 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



The proportion of farms reporting potatoes increases consistently 
as we go from Class I to Class VI farms. For example, only 11 
percent of the Class I livestock farms reported potatoes harvested, 
but 31.6 percent of the Class VI livestock farms rejjorted this 
crop. This reflects the tendency of the smaller farms to be more 
self-sufficient from the standpoint of production for direct con- 
sumption by the farm household ; it may also reflect the relatively 
more ample supply of family labor on many of these farms. 

Cropland used for specified crops. — The'pattern of distribution 
of corn acreage harvested for grain in the United States is shown 
in figure 23. There are large acreages in the Southern and South- 
eastern States, but the largest concentration is in the Corn Belt 
of the North Central States. There were 39,358,892 acres of 



CORN HARVESTED FOR GRAIN 

ACREAGE. 1954 







Figure 23. 



corn harvested for grain on commercial farms in the Corn Belt 
in 1954. This was 62.1 percent of the 63,394,112 acres of corn 
harvested for grain on all commercial farms in the United States 
that year. 

Almost a third of the total acreage of cropland in the Corn 
Belt was in corn harvested for grain, in 1954 (table 53). The 
proportion of all cropland used for this crop on livestock farms 
(32.4 percent) was only slightly smaller than the proportion (34.5 
percent) so used on cash-grain farms. The percentage of cropland 
in corn for grain was greatest on cash-grain farms in the Central 
Corn Belt (39.7 percent) and smallest on livestock farms in the 
Southern Corn Belt (21.6 percent). In all regions except in the 
Northern Corn Belt the cash-grain farms had a slightly larger 
percentage of their cropland in corn for grain than did livestock 
farms. In the Northern Corn Belt the livestock farms had a 
slightly larger percentage of their cropland in corn for grain than 
did cash-grain farms, but the cash-grain farms had larger per- 
centages in soybeans, wheat, and barley. 

The distribution of soybean acreage harvested for beans in 
the United States is shown in figure 24. The large areas of acreage 
concentration of this crop are in the Corn Belt. Smaller areas, 
also important in soybean acreage and production, are the 
Mississippi Delta reaching from southeastern Missouri south- 
ward into Mississippi and Louisiana, and the Atlantic Coast 
area in North and South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. The 
Corn Belt had 11,773,052 acres of soybeans harvested for beans 
on commercial farms in 1954. This was 72.7 percent of the 
16,189,376 acres of soybeans for beans on all commercial farms 
in the United States. As shown on the map, the areas of heaviest 
concentration within the Corn Belt are in east central Illinois, 
central Indiana, and northwestern Iowa and southwestern 
Minnesota. 



Table 53. — Percent of Total Cropland in Specified Crops, by Type of Farm, in the Corn Belt and 


Component Regions: 1954 


Region and type of farm 


Cora har- 
vested for 
grain 


Soybeans 
harvested 
for beans 


Wheat 
threshed 

or 
combined 


Oats 
threshed 

or 
combined 


Barley 
threshed 

or 
combined 


Rye 
threshed 

or 
combhied 


Soybeans 

cut for 

hay 


Red clover 

seed 
harvested 


Land in 

fruit 

orchards, 

etc' 


Total Com Belt: 

All commercial farms 


Percent 
32.3 
34.5 
32.4 

32.3 
34.5 
32.7 

38.8 
39.7 
38 6 

29.6 
29.8 
31.8 

34 6 
35.8 
34.2 

22.1 
25.9 
21.6 


Percent 
9.7 
16.3 
4.7 

13.4 

20.7 

7.6 

14.0 
21.9 
0.2 

8.7 
16.5 
4.2 

2 4 
3.7 
L5 

13.5 

23.8 

7.4 


Percent 
6.8 

10.0 

4.2 

11.3 
12 3 
10.6 

2.1 

3 5 
0.8 

1.1 
2. 1 
0.6 

9.4 
16.5 

4 5 

8.7 
12.8 
6.6 


Percent 
15.9 
13.6 
17.8 

9.3 
8.2 
9.8 

19.9 
17.6 
22.0 

23.3 
21.8 
24.1 

17.0 
13.4 
19.6 

9.4 

7.1 

10.9 


Percent 
0.7 
0.7 
0.6 

0.6 
0.3 
0.7 

0.2 
0.2 
0.2 

L4 
2.4 
0.9 

0.6 
0.6 
0.6 

1.2 
1.0 
1.1 


Percent 
0.4 
0.4 
0.4 

0.7 
0.7 
0.7 

0.1 
0.2 
0.1 

0.2 
0.4 
0.1 

0.4 
0.4 
0.5 

0.4 
0.6 
0.4 


Percent 
0.1 
0.1 
0.1 

0.2 
0.1 
0.2 

(Z) 
(Z) 
(Z) 

(Z) 
(Z) 
(Z) 

(Z) 
(Z) 
(Z) 

0.4 
0.3 
0.3 


Percent 
0.4 
0.4 
0.3 

0.9 
1.0 
0.6 

0.3 
0.3 
0.4 

0.2 
0.2 
0.2 

0.1 
0.1 
0.1 

0.6 
0.6 
0.4 


Percent 
0.1 




(Z) 


Livestock farms 2 , 


0.1 


Eastern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 


0.2 


Cash-grain farms - 

Livestock farms ^ 


(Z) 
0.1 


Central Com Belt: 


(Z) 


Cash-grain farms. 


(Z) 

0.1 


Northern Corn Belt; 

All commercial farms 


(Z) 




(Z) 


Livestock farms 2 


(Z) 


Western Corn Belt: 


(Z) 


Cash-grain farms . _. 


(Z) 




(Z) 


Southern Cora Belt: 


0.2 


Cash-grain fiirms - 


0.1 




0.1 







Z 0.05 percent or less. 

1 Land in bearing and nonbcaring fruit orchards, groves, vineyards, and planted nut 
trees. 



2 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



39 



SOYBEANS HARVESTED FOR BEANS* 

ACREftGE. 1954 




UNITED STATES TOTAL 
16.444.225 

•GSOWN "LOW Afffi WITH OTM£fl CflOPS 



Figure 24. 

f Increases in soybean acreage and production have been a 
striking development in American agriculture during the last 30 
years. In 1924 less than 2 million acres of soybeans wore grown 
for all purposes and only a fourth of this acreage was harvested 
for beans (4). But the acreage increased gradually until 1034, and 
after that at a more rapid rate. At the same time, the proportion 
of the acreage harvested for beans increased from 25 percent in 
1925 to 94 percent in 1956. The acreage harvested for beans 
in 1956 was estimated at 20.9 million acres {6, 1956). In 1954, 
soybeans for beans ranked sixth in acreage harvested and seventh 
in total value of production among all crops in the United States 
(6, 1955; 7). This rapid increase was made possible by the program 
of developing and testing improved varieties, by the development 
of markets for soybean oil and meal, and by the expansion of 
the soybean processing industry (.(). It was encouraged also by 
the Government agricultviral jirograms restricting the acreage of 
corn. 

In the Corn Belt as a whole 9.7 percent of the total cropland 
on all commercial farms was in soybeans harvested for beans 
in 1954 (table 53). On cash-grain farms 16.3 percent of the crop- 
land was in this crop. Livestock farms had smaller percentages 
of their cropland in soybeans than did cash-grain farms, but the 
livestock farms had a larger proportion of their cropland in oats. 
The Central Corn Belt had the largest proportion of cropland in 
soybeans and the Western Corn Belt had the smallest. Mainly 
because of the relatively low rainfall, the high summer tempera- 
tures, and the drying winds, soybeans are relati\'ely less well 
adapted to the Western Corn Belt than are wheat and corn. 
Cash-grain farmers in the Central Corn Belt used 21.9 percent of 
their cropland for soybeans. At the other extreme were the 
livestock farmers in the Western Corn Belt, who used only 1.5 
percent of their cropland for this crop. 

The distribution of acreage of oats threshed or combined in the 
United States in 1954 is shown in figure 25. Oats are grown 
throughout most of the country, but especially in the northern 
half. The largest area of rather concentrated production is in 
the North Central States. Commercial farms in the Corn Belt 
had 19,343,798 acres of oats harvested for grain in 1954. This 
was 51.8 percent of the total acreage of oats threshed or combined 
on all commercial farms in the United States. 

Oats harvested for grain (threshed or combined) were grown on 
15.9 percent of the total cropland on all commercial farms in the 
Corn Belt in 1954 (table 53). This crop was second only to corn 
in total acreage harvested. Oats occupied a larger proportion of 
the cropland on livestock farms than on cash-grain farms. The 
largest proportion of cropland in oats was on livestock farms in the 
Northern Corn Belt; the smallest proportion was on cash-grain 



/ ~) \ 


OATS THRESHED 




ACREAGE. 1 


354 


s> 


~T~¥' 


' / ^—v — — 


~~—-f:^ i. ^r^f'^ 


^'uV^ 


) l~~l' — / 


■' ' ■ ^^:^ M \. "^r-^^ 


'>^^' 


' / / '— r— - 


___[_■ - -ifc' ■ ^''-■'\'''Xi\ 


_3; 


{\U- 


V" 


— — (' -'■- ( J. ;'— TTTli 


\ 






UMTED STATES TOTAL 
37,920.704 










\ ^ 1 DOT. 10.000 ACRES \ 1 




^ioti«.-(»- »co-«-« 




KMMI V T»C cwsia 



Figure 25. 

farms in the Southern Corn Belt. The proportion of cropland in 
oats was exceeded by that in soybeans in the Southern Corn Belt 
and by that in wheat as well as in soybeans in the Ea.stern Corn 
Belt. Most of the oats produced are fed to livestock on the farms 
where the crop is grown. On some farms, especially on cash-grain 
farms, not all the oats produced are needed for feed, so a large 
proportion of the crop is sold. 

Most of the wheat acreage in the United States is in the Great 
Plains and in other western States, but wheat is also an important 
crop in the Corn Belt (fig. 26). Commercial farms in the Corn 
Belt harvested 8,283,849 acres of wheat for grain in 1954. This 
was 16.4 percent of the 50,582,348 acres harvested for grain on all 
commercial farms in the United States. The proportion of total 
production in the Corn Belt was still greater because yields per 
acre of wheat averaged higher in the Corn Belt than in the rest 
of the country. The Corn Belt accounted for 23.2 percent of the 
total production of wheat on all commercial farms in the United 
States in 1954. 

Wheat harvested for grain was grown on 6.8 percent of the crop- 
land on commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 (table 53). 
The proportion of total cropland used for wheat was highest in 
the Eastern Corn Belt and lowest in the Northern Corn Belt. A 
larger percentage of the cropland was used for wheat on cash-grain 
farms than on livestock farms. This was especially true in the 
Western and Southern Corn Belt. In the Western Corn Belt, for 
example, 16.5 percent of the cropland on cash-grain farms was in 
wheat, whereas only 4.5 percent of the cropland on livestock 
farms was in this crop. 



I 

i 

UNITED 
5 


\ 

ST/ 

.36 




ALL WHEAT THRESHED 

ACREAGE 1954 










' ¥7t^ \ lAY 


J^^tf "^ 


TES TOTAL 
684 


\ f IDOT-IO.OOO ACRES 

\^^ ' ICOONTY UNIT BASIS] 



Figure 26. 



40 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Barley and rye for grain each occupied less than 1 percent of 
the cropland on commercial farms in this belt in 1954. The 
largest proportion of cropland in barley was on cash-grain farms 
in the Northern Corn Belt (2.4 percent), while the largest propor- 
tion in rye (0.7 percent) was on commercial farms in the Eastern 
Corn Belt. The smallest percentages of cropland in either barley 
or rye were in the Central Corn Belt. 

Red clover seed was harvested on only 0.4 percent of the crop- 
land on these commercial farms in 1954. The acreage from which 
red clover seed was harvested ranged from about 1 percent of the 
cropland in the Eastern Corn Belt to 0.1 percent of the cropland 
in the Western Corn Belt. 

Alfalfa is the most important hay crop in the Corn Belt. In 
1954, a total of 8,205,755 acres of alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures 
were cut for hay on the commercial farms. This was 31.8 percent 
of the total acreage of alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures cut for hay on 
all farms in the United States. The distribution of acreage of 
alfalfa cut for hay in 1954 is shown in figure 27. Most of the 
acreage is in the northern and western States. The large areas of 
heaviest concentration of acreage are in the dairy region of the 
Lake States, in the Northern and Western Corn Belt, and in the 
Central Valley of California. In the Corn Belt, alfalfa cut for 
hay in 1954 occupied 6.8 percent of aU the cropland on commercial 
farms. The areas with the largest percentages of cropland in 
alfalfa were in northwestern Illinois, southwestern Wisconsin, 
eastern Iowa, and southeastern Nebraska. Most of the alfalfa 
crop was grown on livestock farms, but a large proportion was 
grown on cash-grain farms, for example, in southeastern Nebraska. 



ALFALFA CUT FOR HAY 

ACREAGE 1954 




IMTEO STATES TOTAL 
26J007.77I 



us PEPmlMtM Of COMrtBCt 



Figure 27. 

Clover, timothy, and mixtures of clover and grasses constitute 
the second most important hay crop in the Corn Belt. A total of 
5,368,928 acres of this hay crop was harvested on the commercial 
farms in the Corn Belt in 1954. This was 31.7 percent of the 
acreage on all farms in the United States. Most of the acreage 
of clover or timothy cut for hay in the country as a whole is in 
the North Central and Northeastern States (fig. 28). In the 
Corn Belt, clover, timothy, and mixtures of clover and grasses 
cut for hay occupied 4.4 percent of the cropland on commercial 
farms in that year. The smallest percentage of cropland in this 
hay crop was in the Western Corn Belt. The relatively heaviest 
areas of acreage concentration were on livestock farms in north- 
eastern and southern Iowa and in the northeastern part of 
Missouri. 

Averages per farm reporting for principal crops. — The per- 
centage of farms reporting various crops in the Corn Belt has been 
discussed above. Data have been presented also on the acreage 
of cropland used for the different crops. From the standpoint of 
proportion of cropland utilized, as well as from the standpoint of 



percentage of farms reporting, the leading crops are corn, oats, 
soybeans, and wheat, with soybeans ranking second to corn in 
total value of production. 

In order to show more clearly the scale of crop production on 
individual farms in the different regions of the Corn Belt and in 
order to make comparisons between types and economic classes 
of farms, data for the four principal crops are given on a por-farm- 
reporting basis in the following tables. 



CLOVER OR TIMOTHY CUT FOR HAY" 

ACflEAGE.1954 




UMTED STATES TOTAL 
16,930,114 



Figure 28. 

The average acreage of corn harvested for grain per farm report- 
ing in the Corn Belt in 1954 was 56 acres (table 54) . On cash-grain 
farms the average was 65 acres, and on livestock farms 58 acres. 
In appraising these acreages it is helpful to keep in mind that 
cash-grain farms averaged larger than livestock farms in terms of 
acreage of cropland harvested (table 25). Cash-grain farms in 
the Western Corn Belt had the largest acreage of corn per farm 
reporting (83 acres), and livestock farms in the Southern Corn 
Belt had the smallest acreage (38 acres). In the Eastern Corn 
Belt the acreage of corn per farm reporting was almost as large on 
livestock farms as it was on cash-grain farms. However, corn was 
reported on a larger percentage of the cash-grain farms than of the 
livestock farms (see table 51). 

Table 54. — Average Acreage of Principal Crops Per Farm 
Reporting, by Type of Farm, in the Corn Belt and Com- 
PONENT Regions: 1954 



Region and type of farm 


Com har- 
vested for 
grain 


Soybeans 
harvested 
for beans 


Wheat 
threshed or 
combined 


Oats 
threshed or 
combined 


Total Corn Belt: 


Acres 

66 
66 
68 

43 

49 
48 

67 
76 
64 

49 
69 
61 

74 
83 
72 

40 
60 
38 


Acres 

36 

46 
27 

32 

38 
27 

41 

60 
28 

36 
44 
26 

29 
37 
22 

38 
60 
30 


Acres 

29 
36 

25 

21 
23 
23 

24 
27 
19 

23 
30 
20 

48 
61 
36 

25 
31 
21 


.4crcs 

34 


Cash-grain farms 


34 


Livestock farms ' 


36 


Eastern Com Belt: 

All commercial farms 


18 
18 


Livestock farms ' 


20 


Central Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms . 


38 


Cash-grain farms 


39 




39 


Northern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 


40 




46 


Livestock farms • .. 


40 


Western Com Belt; 

All commercial farms 


46 




42 


Livestock farms ' 


48 


Southern Corn Belt: 


21 




21 




23 







' Livestock otlier tbuii dairy and poultry farms. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



41 



The average acreage of soybeans harvested for beans jjer com- 
mercial farm reporting was 36 acres, the average for casli-grain 
farms was 45 acres, and for livestock farms, 27 acres. Cash-grain 
farms had substantially larger acreages of soybeans than did live- 
stock farms in all regions. The acreage of soybeans per farm 
reporting was as large on cash-grain farms in the Southern Corn 
Belt as in the Central Corn Belt, and almost as large in the 
Northern Corn Belt. Since nearly all farmers had corn and a 
large percentage in every region had soybeans, it is evident that 
the acreage of intertilled crops (row crops) approaches or exceeds 
100 acres on many farms. 

In general, the acreage of wheat threshed or combined per farm 
reporting was smaller than the acreage of soybeans. In the 
Western Corn Belt, however, acreages of wheat per farm were 
substantially larger than acreages of soybeans. Cash-grain farms 
had larger acreages of wheat than did livestock farms except in the 
Eastern Corn Belt where the average was 23 acres on both types. 

Livestock farms generally had somewhat larger acreages of oats 
than did cash-grain farms. However, in the Central Corn Belt 
the average oat enterprise on both types of farms was 39 acres, 
and in the Northern Corn Belt it was largest on the cash-grain 
farms. 

A look at the average acreages of the principal crops on the 
different economic classes of farms gives a clearer mental picture of 
the relative sizes of these farms and the general scale of their crop 
operations. Class I cash-grain farms averaged 196 acres of corn 
per farm reporting, while Cla.ss II farms averaged 97 acres, and 
Class III farms, 64 acres (table 55). The average acreage of corn 
per farm reporting declined consistently with economic class to an 
average of only 20 acres on Class VI cash-grain farms. On live- 
Btock farms the pattern was similar, although the average acreages 
of corn were substantially smaller on the Classes I, II, and III 
livestock farms than they were on these classes of the cash-grain 
farms. With soybeans, wheat, and oats — as with corn — the 
jiattern is consistent. The average acreage of these crops per 
farm reporting declines as we proceed from Class I to Class VI, 
reflecting the strong correlation between income size (economic 
class) of farm and the acreage size of the principal croj) enterprises. 
Economic Class V cash-grain farms had an average of less than 30 
acres of corn, 20 acres of soybeans, and less than 20 acres of wheat 
or oats per farm reporting these crops. The contrast in average 
size of operations on Class V farms and Class II farms is striking. 
Obviously, farm incomes must be relatively very low on the Class 
\ farms and even lower on the Class VI farms. 

Table 55. — Average Acreage of Principal Crops Per Farm 
Reporting, by Type and Economic Class of Farm, in the 
Corn Belt: 1954 



Type and economic class of farm 


Corn har- 
vested for 
grain 


Soybeans 
harvested 
for beans 


Wheat 
threshed or 
combined 


Oats 
threshed or 
combined 


All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms: 
Total . 


Acres 
56 

65 
196 
97 
64 
43 
29 
20 

58 
122 
74 
63 
38 
29 
19 


Acres 
36 

45 
135 
63 
40 
28 
20 
IS 

27 
54 
32 
22 
16 
13 
10 


Acres 
29 

36 
91 
51 
36 
25 
16 
12 

25 
56 
32 
22 
16 
13 
10 


Acres 

34 

34 


Class I.. 




11 


44 


Ill 


34 


IV... .- 


25 


V 

VI 

Livestock farms: ' 

Total 

Class I 


17 
14 

36 


11 


44 


Ill 


35 


IV 




v.. 


18 


VI 









' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



The quantity of grain produced per farm reporting is another 
useful measure of the size of farm business. It comes a step closer 
to indicating the potential income than does the acreage of crops. 
The average quantity of corn produced in 1954 per commercial 
farm reporting this crop in the Corn Belt was 2,624 bushels (table 
56). In most regions of the Corn Belt the cash-grain farms pro- 
duced somewhat more corn per farm than the livestock farms, but 
the differences between types were smaller thair the differences be- 
tween the averages per commercial farm in different regions. 
Corn production per farm was largest in the Central Corn Belt 
and smallest in the Southern Corn Belt, but in all regions corn 
production stands out as the big crop enterprise. 



Table 56. — Quantity Produced Per Farm Reporting Crop 
Harvested, for Principal Crops, by Type of Farm in the 
Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 



Region and type of farm 


Com 


Soybeans 


Wheat 


Oats 


Total Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms .. 


Bushels 
2,624 
2,996 
2,729 

2,489 
2,729 
2,839 

3.872 
4.224 
3.836 

2,779 
3.158 
3,107 

2,628 
2,737 
2,691 

1,082 
1,365 
1,112 


Bushels 
793 
1,006 
604 

765 
902 
660 

1,074 

1,308 

760 

727 
935 
562 

669 
833 
640 

656 
755 
460 


Bushels 
737 
898 
648 

617 

674 
663 

7S9 
8.66 
564 

266 
332 
245 

988 

1,268 

725 

727 
937 
607 


Bushels 
1,216 




1,190 


Livestock farms ' 


1,344 


Eastern Corn Belt: 


789 




777 


Livestock farms' 


906 


Central Corn Belt: 


1,480 


Cash-gralii farms 


1,446 




1,675 


Northern Com Belt: 


1,495 


Cash-grain farms 


1,636 




1,665 


Western Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms ., 


1,372 




1.231 


Livestock farms ' 


1,526 


Southern Com Belt: 


773 


Cash-grain farms 


741 




848 







1 Livestock other than dahr and poultry farms. 



The volume of .soybean production per farm on the farms report- 
ing this crop indicates the generally substantial scale of this cash- 
crop enterprise, especially in the Central Corn Belt. Even on 
livestock farms in the Southern Corn Belt the average production 
per farm reporting was 460 bushels. At 1954 season average 
prices, 460 bushels had a value of about $1,100. The volume of 
wheat produced per farm reporting exceeded the volume of soy- 
beans produced per farm that reported soybeans, in the Western 
and Southern Corn Belt, but it was much smaller than soybean 
production per farm in the Central and Northern Corn Belt. 
The volume of oat production per farm reporting ranks second 
only to that of corn throughout the Corn Belt. The average size 
of the oat crop per farm reporting ranged from 741 bushels on 
cash-grain farms in the Southern Corn Belt to 1,635 bushels on 
cash-grain farms in the Northern Corn Belt. 

Quantities shown in table 56 provide a generalized down-on-the- 
farm picture of the volume of crops available for sale or for feeding. 
They also help to explain the popularity of mechanical harvesting 
machinery and trucks as labor-saving equipment on Corn Belt 
farms. In addition, they indicate the scale of farm-storage build- 
ings needed for crops that are to be fed on the farm, and for cash 
crops if these are to be held on the farm for a period before market- 
ing. 



42 



FARMERS AND FARMiPRODUCTION 



The average volume of production of principal crops on different 
economic classes of farms provides a comparison of the relative 
sizes of these farms that is even more vivid than the average acre- 
age comparisons made above. The average quantity of corn pro- 
duced per farm reporting was 11,617 bushels on Class I cash-grain 
farms (table 57). This was more than 20 times as large as the 
average crop of corn on Class VI cash-grain farms that harvested 

Table 57. — Quantity Produced Per Farm Reporting for 
Principal Crops, by Economic Class of Farm in the Corn 
Belt: 1954 



Type and economic class of farm 


Com 


Soybeans 


Wheat 


Oats 


All commercial farms . . 


Bushels 
2,624 

2,995 
11,617 
5. 162 
2.753 
1,560 
899 
623 

2,729 
7,077 
3,862 
2,298 
1,397 
806 
490 


Bushels 
793 

1,006 
3,737 
1,567 
842 
490 
291 
169 

604 
1,450 
762 
435 
266 
161 
116 


Bushels 
737 

898 
2,724 
1.377 
873 
662 
367 
258 

648 
1,582 
847 
632 
362 
260 
194 


Bushels 
1,216 


Cash-grain farms: 

Total 


1.190 


Class I 


2.988 


II 


1.708 


ni - - - 


1.142 


IV 


751 


V -.- 


502 


VI 


387 


Livestocli farms: ' 

Total -- -- 


1.344 


Ciassi 


2.714 


II 


1.722 


III 


1.198 


IV 


822 


V .- 


635 


VI . - 


377 







^ Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



corn for grain. The volume of corn produced per farm reporting 
on Class II cash-grain farms was more than 3 times as great as that 
on Class IV cash-grain farms. The volume of each of the 4 princi- 
pal crops produced per farm declines consistently as we go from 
Class I farms to Class VI farms, for livestock farms as well as 
for cash-grain farms. It can readily be seen, for example, that 
feed-grain production on Classes IV, V, and VI livestock farms 
provides a relatively small base for feeding operations compared 
with the scale of production on the Classes I, 11, and III farms. 

YIELDS PER ACRE 

Average yields of corn per acre in the United States in 1954, on 
a county unit basis, are shown in figure 29. The largest area of 
yields averaging 60 bushels and over is in the North Central States. 
Most of this area is within the Corn Belt. It extends to the north 
of the Corn Belt in southern Wisconsin. Other areas of corn yields 
of 60 bushels and over are mainly in the irrigated sections of the 
West. In a large portion of the Northeast region to the east of the 
Corn Belt, yields of corn averaged from 40 to 59 bushels. Yields 
in the Southern and Western Corn Belt are significantly lower than 
those in the Central, Eastern, and Northern Corn Belt. The 
highest yields in the Corn Belt were obtained in the areas that had 
the most favorable combinations of fertile soil, adequate moisture, 
and warm summer temperature. Yields were considerably below 
average in the southern and southwestern parts of the Corn Belt 
in 1954 because of damage to the crop in those areas by severe 
drought. The average yield of corn per acre in the United States 
was 39.1 bushels. 




Figure 29. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



43 



The average yields per acre harvested for grain in 1954 for the 
4 principal crops on all commercial farms in the Corn Belt were as 
follows: Corn, 46.6 bu.shels; soybeans, 22.1 bushels; wheat, 25.3 
biLshels; and oats, 36.3 bushels (table 58). The largest yields of 
corn were obtained in the Central Corn Belt (57.4 bushels), but 
yields in the Eastern and Northern Corn Belt were almost as high. 
Corn yields averaged only 27.2 bushels in the Southern Corn Belt, 
or less than half of those in the Central, Eastern, and Northern 
Corn Belt. 

Table 58. — Average Yield Per Acre Harvested of Princi- 
pal Crops, by Type of Farm in the Corn Belt and Com- 
ponent Regions: 1954 



Region and type of farm 


Corn 

harvested 

for 

grain 


Soybeans 

harvested 

for 

beans 


Wheat 
threshed 
or com- 
bined 


Oats 
threshed 
or com- 
bined 


Total Corn Belt: 


Bushels 
46.6 
46.1 
47.4 

57.2 
56.0 
59.4 

57.4 
66.0 
69.6 

57.1 
53.6 
60.4 

34.1 

32.8 
35.8 

27.2 
27.1 
28.9 


Bushels 
22.1 
22.5 
22.3 

23.8 
23.6 
24.5 

26.2 
26.1 
26.8 

21.4 
21.4 
21.8 

23.3 

22.8 
24.3 

14.8 
15.2 
15.6 


Bushels 
25.3 
25.2 
25.4 

28.9 
29.1 
29.2 

31.0 
31.5 
29.4 

11.3 
11.0 
12.2 

20.5 
20.7 
20.1 

29.1 
29.8 
28.6 


Bushels 
36.3 


Cash-prain farms 


35.4 




37.0 


Eastern Corn Belt: 


43.6 


Cash-grain farms 


43.0 


Livestock farms ' 


45.6 


Central Corn Belt: 


3S.9 


Casll-grain farms 


37.4 


Livestock farms ' 


40.8 


Northern Com Belt: 


37.6 


Casli-grain farms 


35.6 




38.7 


Western Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms .. 


30.7 




29.4 




31.8 


Southern Corn Belt: 
All commercial farms 


36.0 


Cash-grain farms 


35.3 




36.7 







1 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

Yields of soybeans and wheat also were highest in the Central Corn 
Belt. The lowest average yield of soybeans was in the Southern 
Corn Belt (14.8 bushels), and the lowest average yield of wheat was 
in the Northern Corn Belt (11.3 bushels). The average yield of 
oats was highest in the Eastern Corn Belt (43.6 bushels), and lowest 
in the Western Corn Belt (30.7 bushels). 

In every region of the Corn Belt the average yields of corn, 
soybeans, and oats were higher on livestock farms than on cash- 
grain farms in the respective regions. This appears to reflect a 
generally higher level of fertility of soils on livestock farms, brought 
about by the more frequent use of legumes and meadow crops in 
crop rotations, and by larger and more regular applications of 
livestock manure. 

Yields of wheat averaged slightly higher on livestock farms than 
on cash-grain farms in the Corn Belt as a whole, but wheat yields 
were higher on cash-grain farms than on livestock farms in the 
Central, Western, and Southern Corn Belt. This may indicate 
that on livestock farms in these regions wheat was not given as 
high a priority among crops in the choice of land as it was given 
on cash-grain farms. 

Yields per acre of the principal crops are strikingly correlated 
with economic class of farm (table 59). Yields are highest on the 
Class I farms, somewhat lower (but still above average) on the 
Class II farms, somewhat below average on the Class III farms, 
and so on down to the Class VI farms, which had the lowest yields. 
The higher levels of yield on the economic classes of farms with 



larger income, coupled with the larger acreages of the principal 
crops on these farms, intensify the relative income-producing 
power of the.se farms. The higher yields on the larger income 
economic classes of farms are caused in part by the relatively high 
level of natural fertiUty of soils on these farms, but perhaps to a 
larger extent they are the result of superior management practices, 
heavier application of fertilizer, and other improved production 
techniques. 

Table 59. — Average Yield Per Acre Harvested of Principal 
Crops, by Type and Economic Class of Farm, in the Corn 
Belt: 1954 



Type and economic class of farm 


Corn 

harvested 

for 

grain 


Soybeans 

harvested 

for 

beans 


Wheat 
threshed 
or com- 
bined 


Oats 
threshed 
or com- 
bined 


All commercial farms 


Bushels 
46.6 

46.1 
69.2 
63.1 
43.2 
35.9 
31.2 
25.6 

47.4 
58.0 
52.2 
43.7 
36.4 
30.0 
25.6 


Bushels 
22.1 

22.5 
27.8 
25.0 
21.0 
17.7 
14.6 
11.6 

22.3 
26.7 
23.9 
19.8 
16.3 
12.6 
11.2 


Biis'iels 
25.3 

25.2 
40.4 
27.0 
24.1 
22.5 
22.7 
21.3 

25.4 
28.3 
26.8 
24.2 
22.0 
19.9 
19.2 


Bushels 
36 3 


Cash-grain farms: 
Total 


35 4 


Class I... 


44. 1 


II 


38 8 


III 


33.9 


IV 


30 6 


V 


29.0 


VI . . 


27. 1 


Livestock farms: ' 
Total 


37.0 


Class I --- 


44.6 


II 


39.6 


III 


34.5 


IV . . . 


30.8 


V... 


29.2 


VI .... 


27.6 







1 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

CROP SALES 

The value of crops sold from commercial farms in the Corn Belt 
in 1954 was approximately 2.5 billion dollars. This was about a 
fifth of the total value of crops sold by all commercial farms in the 
United States that year. Sales of crops accounted for somewhat 
more than a third of the total value of all farm products sold by 
commercial farms in the Corn Belt. 

Crops contributing the largest share of receipts from crops sold 
in the Corn Belt are corn, soybeans, wheat, and oats. Sales of corn 
and oats are made by farmers who grow more of these feed crops 
than is needed on their farms. Most of the cash-grain farms as 
well as the livestock farms have some livestock. The average size 
of herds or flocks is generally smaller on cash-grain farms than on 
livestock farms. Soybeans for beans are grown as a cash crop on 
all farms that grow them. Wheat is grown primarily as a cash 
crop on both livestock and cash-grain farms. Differences between 
cash-grain and livestock farms as to sales of crops produced are 
reflected by the percentages of crops sold (table 60). 

Table 60. — Quantity Sold as a Percentage of Total Pro- 
duction, for Specified Crops in the Corn Belt, by Type of 
Farm: 1954 





Percentage of crops sold 


Type of farm 


Corn 


Wheat 


Oats 


Barley 


Rye 


Alfalfa 
hay 


Clover- 
timothy 
hay ' 


All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms ' 


41.6 
71.5 
14.9 


90.4 
92.7 
87.6 


25.9 
49.2 
12.4 


35.3 
68.1 
17.7 


63.1 
70.1 
57.7 


10.3 
16 9 
6.3 


6.4 
12.2 
3.1 



' Clover, timothy, and mixtures of clover and grasses cut for hay. 
3 Livestock otlier than dairy and poultry farms. 



44 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



In 1954, 41.5 percent of the corn grown on commercial farms in 
the Corn Belt was sold. On cash-grain farms the quantity sold 
was 71.5 percent of the crop produced, but on livestock farms only 
14.9 percent of the corn crop was sold. Some of the corn is sold 
directly to other farmers in the community who need more feed, 
but most of the sales are made to local elevators and other buyers 
who, in turn, seU to farmers, terminal market buyers, or to com- 
mercial feed mLxers. In recent years considerable quantities have 
been sold to the Government. Eventually, the major portion of 
all the corn sold is fed to livestock. 

An estimated 96 percent of the total crop of soybeans produced 
on commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 was sold. A small 
part of the crop was kept for seed on the farms where grown, but a 
large share of the seed used by farmers is of improved varieties 
grown by a relatively few certified seed growers and other pro- 
ducers. Less than 1 percent of the soybeans produced in the Corn 
Belt are fed directly to livestock. By far the largest part of the 
crop is sold for processing into oil and meal. The major uses of 
soybean oil are in the production of shortening, margarine, and 
other edible products; some soybean oil is used in paints and var- 
nishes and other nonfood products. Most of the soybean meal is 
used for livestock feed. Soybean meal is the leading protein con- 
centrate feed in the United States and large quantities are used 
on livestock farms in the Corn Belt. 

About 90 percent of the wheat produced on commercial farms in 
the Corn Belt in 1954 was sold. Cash-grain farmers sold 92.7 
percent of their production and livestock farmers 87.5 percent. 
Most of the wheat used for feed in the belt is fed to poultry. 

A smaller percentage of the rye than of the wheat produced was 
sold (63.1 percent), but the difference between types of farms was 
greater in the case of rye. A relatively large percentage of the rye 
is kept for seed on the farms where grown, to be used for seeding 
rye for cover crop, green manure, or supplementary pasture, as 
well as for grain. About a fourth of the oat crop and a little more 
than a third of the barley crop were sold. Cash-grain farms sold 
a larger proportion of their production of these crops than did 
livestock farms. 

Only relatively small percentages of the principal hay crops — 
alfalfa hay and clover-timothy hay — were sold on either cash-grain 
or livestock farms, but the percentage sold was larger on the cash- 
grain farms. This was true also for lespedeza hay, small-grain 
hay, and other hay. 

In 1954, corn accounted for 43.7 percent, soybeans for 25.3 
percent, wheat for 16 percent, and oats for 5 percent of the total 
value of all crops sold on commercial farms in the Corn Belt 
(table 61). Sales of all other crops accounted for only 10 percent 



of the total farm receipts from crops sold. Corn accounted for 
more than half of the total value of all crops sold in the Central 
Corn Belt. Also, in the Northern and Western Corn Belt the 
value of corn sales amounted to almost half of the value of all 
crops sold. In the Southern Corn Belt, however, sales of soybeans 
and wheat were relatively greater than sales of corn, on both 
livestock and cash-grain farms. In the Eastern Corn Belt the 
value of corn sold was larger than that of either soybeans or wheat 
on cash-grain farms, but it was less than the value of either soy- 
beans or wheat sold on livestock farms. Sales of oats made up a 
relatively small percentage of the total value of all crops sold in all 
regions. Oats were relatively most important as a cash crop in 
the Northern Corn Belt and relatively least important in the 
Southern and Eastern Corn Belt. Other crops which accounted 
for a total of 10 percent of the value of crops sold on all commercial 
farms were relatively most important in the Northern Corn Belt 
and relatively least so in the Central Corn Belt. 

Table 61. — Percentage Distribution of Value Among 
Crops Sold, by Type of Farm, in the Corn Belt and Com' 
PONENT Regions: 1954 





Percentage distribution of value of— 


Region and type of farm 


All 
crops 
sold 


Com 
sold 


Soy- 
beans 
sold 


Wheat 
sold 


Oats 
sold 


Other 
crops 
sold 


Total Com Belt: 

All commercial farms. 

Cash-grain farms 


100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 

100.0 

100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 


43.7 
48.7 
36.2 

37.7 
47.0 
18.3 

64.2 
66.6 
50.2 

48.7 
51.6 
46.2 

47.3 

49.7 
45.2 

18.0 
23.9 
11.2 


25.3 
26.7 
28.1 

26.7 
29.5 
32.1 

31.7 
32.3 
33.9 

26.6 
27.8 
30.5 

8.7 
8.1 
12.3 

34.0 
36.6 
37.5 


16.0 
14.7 
21.4 

20.5 
16.7 
.39.4 

4.5 
4.9 
3.8 

1.4 
1.6 
1.6 

25.7 
27.9 
24.6 

33.2 
30.6 
38.9 


5.0 
4.8 
6.2 

2.7 
3.1 
2.4 

6.9 
6.6 
7.6 

8.1 
8.6 
8.5 

5.9 
5.0 
8.6 

2.8 
2.7 
3.0 


10.0 
6.1 


Livestock farms ' 

Eastern Com Belt: 

All commercial farms 


8.1 

12.4 
3.7 


Livestock farms ' 

Central Cora Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 


7.8 

3.7 
1.7 


Livestock farms • 

Northern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 


4.6 

16.2 
10.5 


Livestock farms ' 

Western Com Belt: 


13.2 
12.4 


Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms ' 

Southern Com Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 


9.3 

9.4 

12.0 
6.3 


Livestock farms ' 


9.4 



1 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



45 



USE OF COMMERCIAL FERTILIZER AND LIME 



COMMERCIAL FERTILIZER 

Fertilizers are applied to land for the purpose of improving the 
growth and increasing the yields of crops. Fertilizers contain one 
or more plant nutrients or elements that are needed by growing 
plants. Soils contain these same elements but often they are not 
present or available in sufficient quantity for best plant growth and 
yield. Hence, commercial fertilizers, barnyard manure, straw, 
and other fertilizing materials are applied to supplement the 
available nutrients in the soil. 

The three major plant nutrients sold in commercial fertilizers 
are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Fertilizers may contain 
one, two, or all three of these elements and, in addition, they may 
contain calcium and/or some minor nutrients. Some of the 
common fertilizers containing nitrogen are ammonium nitrate, 
ammonium sulfate, and anhydrous ammonia. Among commercial 
fertilizers containing phosphorus the most widely used is super- 
phosphate; others are finely ground phosphate rock, colloidal 
phosphate, and calcium mctaphosphate. Muriate of potash is 
the most common fertilizer that supplies potassium. Mixed 
fertilizers contain two or all three of the major nutrients in various 
proportions. Soil tests and observation of growing plants are 
useful in indicating the particular mixture or proportion of nu- 
trients that will give best results on a given soil for a given crop. 
The most profitable rate of application (pounds per acre) of 
fertilizer varies with the relative prices of the fertilizer and of the 
crop fertilized as well as with the yield response obtained from in- 
creasing quantities of fertilizer applied per acre. 

Use of commercial fertilizer by farmers in the United States 
expanded greatly during the last 20 years. The proportion of all 



farms reporting expenditures for commercial fertilizer and fer- 
tilizing material increased from 38.9 percent in 10)59 to 44 percent 
in 1944 and 61 percent in 1954. In the North Central States the 
quantity of fertilizer used increased nearly three-fold during the 
1941-50 decade (.3). In some parts of this region the rate of 
increase was much greater than this. For example, the quantity 
of fertilizer used in Iowa increased from 9,000 tons in 1938 to over 
600,000 tons in 1953 (/). The introduction of improved varieties 
of corn, the existence of relatively favorable fertilizer-crop price 
ratios, the increased knowledge of fertilizer use and soil manage- 
ment, and the improved capital position of farmers during this 
period contributed greatly to the expansion in fertilizer use in the 
Corn Belt. About two-thirds of the total fertilizer nutrients used 
in the belt is in the form of mixtures. In 1954, the commercial 
farms in the Corn Belt accounted for a fourth of the total expendi- 
ture for commercial fertilizer and fertilizing material by all com- 
mercial farms in the United States. 

The percentage of farms reporting expenditures for commercial 
fertilizer in the United States, on a county basis, is shown in 
figure 30. The areas having the highest percentages of farms 
using commercial fertilizer are mainly in the eastern half of the 
country and particularly in the southern and southeastern States. 
Commercial fertilizer was used also by a large proportion of the 
farmers in irrigated areas of the West. In the Corn Belt, the 
highest percentage of farmers using commercial fertilizer was 
found in the eastern part. The proportion of farmers reporting 
expenditures for fertilizer ranged from more than 80 percent in 
parts of the Eastern and Northern Corn Belt to less than 10 percent 
in parts of the Western Corn Belt. 



<:<iifARMS REPORTING EXPENDITURES FOR COMMERCIAL FERTILIZERS AS A PERCENT OF ALL FARMS, 1954 

/V *i^->>^ (COUNTY UNIT BASIS) 




* NO FARMS 



U S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 



MAP f40 AM-285 



BUREAU OF TME CENSUS 



FlQUHE 30. 



46 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Type of soil, amount and distribution of precipitation, and 
lengtli of time the land has been farmed, are basic factors explain- 
ing the differences in kinds and quantities of commercial fertilizer 
used in different parts of the Corn Belt. The soils in the Eastern 
Corn Belt are relatively low in organic matter and native fertility, 
they are more acid, and they are more leached than are soils in 
most of the rest of the Corn Belt. Losses of available plant 
nutrients from leaching and cropping have been relatively greater 
in soils of the Eastern Corn Belt than in soils to the west and 
north because of the greater annual precipitation, the more open 
winters, and the longer time the land has been farmed. The 
prairie soils of the Central and Northern Corn Belt are generally 
high in organic matter and they are deeper, have a higher level 
of native fertility, and are less leaelied than are soils of the Eastern 
Corn Belt. Soils of the Southern Corn Belt generally have less organ- 
ic matter, they are not as deep, and have less porous subsoils, and 
they are naturally less fertile than soils in most of the Central 
Corn Belt. The soils of the Western Corn Belt are generally well 
supplied with plant nutrients, including calcium, and they are 
often alkaline in reaction. Loss of native fertility has been at a 
relatively low rate in soils of the Western Corn Belt. There has 
been relatively little leaching. Moreover, losses from cropping 
have been rather light as the yields have been relatively low be- 
cause of limited rainfall. 

In the Corn Belt, the soil areas of relatively greatest deficiency in 
plant nutrients are in the eastern and southern regions. In these 
regions the precipitation is greater than in most of the rest of the 
Corn Belt so the supply of moisture does not limit the yield re- 
sponse to applications of fertilizer as often as it does in other parts. 
Nitrogen is used throughout the Corn Belt, and constitutes a higher 
percentage of the total fertilizer used in the western half than in 
the eastern half of the Corn Belt. Phosphate also is used in all 
parts, but the relatively greatest use is in the eastern half. Potash 
is used relatively little in the Western Corn Belt because of the 
high level of available potassium in most of the soils there. 
Potash is used relatively more in the Eastern and Southern Corn 
Belt and to an intermediate extent in the Northern and Central 
Corn Belt (3). 

In the 1954 Census, the inquiry on fertilizer included all fertilizer 
purchased or to be purchased during the calendar year 1954 for 
use on the farm, whether bought by the operator or by the land- 
lord, or jointly. Soil conditioners — such as lime, marl, and 
gypsum — were not to be included as commercial fertilizers or 
fertilizing materials. Also not to be included were barnyard 
manure, straw, and other refuse materials. No specific mention 
was made of basic slag, and this item was not considered to be a 
fertilizing material by many farmers and enumerators in the Corn 
Belt. The acreage fertilized was to be counted only once even if 
fertilizer was applied more than once to the same crop during 1954. 
The total tonnage used was to be reported whether applied in one 
or in more than one application. 

Two out of every three commercial farms in the Corn Belt 
reported expenditures for commercial fertilizer and fertilizing 
material in 1954. A slightly larger percentage of the cash-grain 
farms than of the livestock farms in the Corn Belt as a whole 
reported this expenditure (table 62). In the Northern Corn Belt, 
the larger percentage of livestock farms than of cash-grain farms 
reporting commercial fertilizer may be explained by the fact that 
most of the livestock farms are in the eastern part, while most of 
the cash-grain farms are in the western part. The relatively 
lower level of native fertility of much of the soil in the eastern part, 



along with the more ample supply of moisture compared with the 
western part of this region, results in a more marked response from 
applications of commercial fertilizer in the eastern part of the 
Northern Corn Belt. 

Commercial fertilizer was most widely used by farmers in the 
Eastern Corn Belt, where expenditures for this item were reported 
on 88.1 percent of the commercial farms. The area ranking second 
was the Southern Corn Belt with 68.8 percent of the commercial 
farms reporting such expense. Only half of the commercial farms 
in the Western Corn Belt reported expenditures for fertihzer and 
fertilizing material. 

Corn is the crop on which commercial fertilizer was most com- 
monly used. It was used on corn by 56.7 percent of the com- 
mercial farms in the Corn Belt. The contrast in fertilizer use 
from east to west is shown by the percentage of cash-grain farms 
reporting, which ranged from 87.8 percent in the Eastern Corn 
Belt to 38.0 percent in the Western Corn Belt. 

Use of commercial fertilizer on hay and pasture was reported 
by a larger proportion of the livestock farms than of the cash- 
grain farms in each region of the Corn Belt. This is partly a 
refiection of the more common occurrence of hay and pasture 
crops on livestock farms and partly a reflection of the greater 
importance placed on these crops by operators of livestock farms. 
Relatively very few farmers reported using commercial fertilizer 
on fruits, vegetables, and potatoes. 



Table 62. — Percent of All Commercial Farms Reporting 
Expenditures for Commercial Fertilizer and Use of Com- 
mercial Fertilizer on Specified Crops, by Type of Farm, 
in the Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 





Percent of all commercial farms 




Farms re- 
porting 
expendi- 
tures for 
commer- 
cial ferti- 
lizer and 
fertilizing 
material 


Farms reporting commercial fertilizer used— 


Region and type of farm 


On hay 
and 
crop- 
land 

pasture 


On 
other 
pas- 
ture 


On 
corn 


On 

wheat 


On 
fraits, 
vege- 
tables, 
and po- 
tatoes 


On 
other 
crops 


Total Cora Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Casli-prain farms 

Livestock farms ' 

Eastern Cora Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms i 

Central Com Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms ' 

Northern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms ' 

Western Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms ' _ 

Southern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms.. 

Livestock [arms ' 


66.5 
68.8 
65.4 

88.1 
92.7 
86.9 

61.3 
64.4 
61.2 

63.9 
54.3 
71.6 

50.2 
49.3 
62.5 

68.8 
74.4 
67.2 


12.9 
9.9 
14.5 

16.0 
10.8 
19.6 

13.1 
12.0 
13.8 

11.7 
11.3 
12.5 

10.6 
6.8 
13.0 

12.8 
8.3 
14.8 


2.9 
1.9 
3.5 

3.4 

2.2 
4.6 

1.8 
1.6 
2.1 

1.7 
0.8 
1.9 

3.4 
2.3 

4.2 

3.8 
2.3 
4.4 


56.7 
69.6 
66.8 

82.7 
87.8 
83.2 

51.4 
54.2 
61.8 

67.3 
46.7 
66.8 

38 3 
38.0 
40.9 

64.3 
61.1 
53.2 


(NA) 
(NA) 
(NA) 

(NA) 
(NA) 
(NA) 

(NA) 
(NA) 
(NA) 

(NA) 
(NA) 
(NA) 

12.7 
19.1 
8.4 

34.8 
47.4 
27.4 


1.3 

1.0 
0.6 

3.4 

2.5 
1.8 

0.6 
0,6 
0.2 

0.7 
0.4 
0.4 

0.3 
0.2 
0.2 

1.3 
0.8 
0.8 


(NA) 
(NA) 
(NA) 

(NA) 
(NA 
(NAS 

(NA) 

(naS 

(NA) 

(NA) 
(NA) 
(NA) 

20.6 
16.7 
23.6 

30.2 
27.8 
31.3 



NA Not available. 

' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



47 



Larger proportions of the farms in the higlior economic classes 
than of the farms in the lower economic classes reported using 
commercial fertilizer. This was true in the case of each of the 
crops or groups of crops for which the information was obtained, 
on both the cash-grain and the livestock farms (table 63). For 
example, 77.0 percent of the Class I livestock farms reported using 
commercial fertilizer on corn, compared with 24.7 percent of the 
Class VI livestock farms. 

T.ABLE 63. — Percent of All Commerci.'\l F.-vrms Reporting 
Expenditures for Commercial Fertilizer and Use of Com- 
mercial Fertilizer on Specified Crops, by Type and Eco- 
nomic Class of Farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 



Type and economic class 
of farm 



All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms: 

Total 

Class I 

II.... 

Ill 

IV 

V 

VI 

Livestock farms: ' 

Total 

Class I 

II 

III 

rv 

V 

VI 



Percent of all commercial farms 



Farms re-j Farms reporting commercial fertilizer used- 

portinR I 

expendi- 



commer- 
clal ferti- 
lizer and 
fertilizing 
material 



68.8 
88.4 
80.9 
69.0 
62.2 
60.8 
48.0 



65.4 
84.9 
80.2 
69.0 
56.8 
45.6 
31.0 



On hay 








On 


and 


On 






fruits, 


crop- 


other 


On 


On 


vege- 


land 


pas- 


com 


wheat 


tables. 


pasture 


ture 






and po- 
tatoes 


12 9 


2.9 


56.7 


(XA) 


1.3 


9.9 


1.9 


59.6 


(NA) 


I.O 


18.5 


4.2 


81.4 


(NA) 


2.1 


15.9 


2.6 


71.7 


(NA) 


1.3 


10.0 


2.0 


59.7 


(NA) 


0.9 


6.5 


1.5 


62.9 


(NA) 


0.7 


5.1 


1.2 


51.2 


(NA) 


0.8 


2.8 


0.3 


38.3 


(NA) 


0.9 


14.5 


3.5 


65.8 


(NA) 


0.6 


23.6 


5.9 


77.0 


(NA) 


1.2 


19.7 


4.4 


70.6 


(NA) 


0.7 


14.9 


3.6 


58.8 


(NA) 


0.6 


10.7 


2.9 


46.5 


(NA) 


0.5 


8.9 


2.3 


35.7 


(NA) 


0.6 


5.0 


1.3 


24.7 


(NA) 


0.5 



On 

other 
crops 



(NA) 



(NA) 
(NA) 
(NA) 
(NA) 
(NA) 
(NA) 
(NA) 



(NA) 
(NA) 
(NA) 
(NA) 
(NA) 
(NA) 
(NA) 



NA Not available. 

' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

Commercial fertilizer was applied on 30.2 percent of all the 
cropland on commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 (table 64). 
The percentage of cropland fertilized was highest in the Eastern 
Corn Belt (56.5 percent), and lowest in the Western Corn Belt 
(18.0 percent). There was relatively little difference between cash- 
grain farms and livestock farms in the percentage of cropland 
fertilized, except in the Northern Corn Belt where 29 percent of 
the cropland on livestock farms was fertilized compared with 
about 19 percent of the cropland on cash-grain farms. (Again, 
this situation in the Northern Corn Belt reflects the predominance 
of livestock farms in the eastern part and of cash-grain farms in 
the western part of the Northern Corn Belt.) Corn acreage 
accounted for half, or more than half, of the acreage fertilized in 
every region of the Corn Belt. In the Southern Corn Belt, about 
half of the acreage fertilized was in corn: in the Central Corn Belt 
about two-thirds; and in the Northern Corn Belt about three- 
fourths of the fertilized acreage was in corn. Of the total tonnage 
of fertilizer used on all crops, the proportion used on corn ranged 
from 49.3 percent in the Southern Corn Belt to 67.0 percent in the 
Northern Corn Belt. 

In the Corn Belt as a whole only slightly more than half of the 
corn acreage was fertilized, but this practice differed considerably 
between regions, ranging from 91.7 percent of the corn acreage on 



commercial farms in the Eastern Corn Belt down to 28.8 percent 
in the Western Corn Belt. 

The average quantity of fertilizer applied per acre on corn, on all 
commercial farms in the Corn Belt, was 208 pounds (table 64). 
The average cjuantity applied per acre on all c/ops was 220 pounds. 
The cjuantity of fertilizer applied per acre on corn averaged highest 
on livestock farms in the Eastern Corn Belt (270 pounds), and 
lowest on cash-grain farms in the Western Corn Belt (148 pounds). 
In the Central and Northern Corn Belt, quantities of fertilizer ap- 
plied per acre on other crops averaged higher than quantities 
applied on corn; but in the Eastern, Western, and Southern Corn 
Belt the rate of application on corn was about the same as on other 
crops. 



Table 64. — Use of Commercial Fertilizer and Fertilizing 
Material on Commercial Farms, by Type of Farm, in the 
Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 





Total 
acres 
fertilized 
as a per- 
centage 
of total 
cropland 


Acres of 

corn 
fertilized 
as a per- 
centage 
of total 

acres 
fertUized 


Acres of 
com 

fertilized 

as a per- 
centage 
of com 
acreage 
for all 

purposes 


Fertilizer 
used on 

com 
as a per- 
centage 
of total 
tons of 
fertilizer 

used 


Quantity of 

fertilizer used 

per acre (pounds) 


Region and typo of farm 


Average 
for total 

acres 
fertilized 


Average 
for com 
fertilized 


Total Corn Bolt: 

.\11 commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms ' 

Eastern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms' 

Central Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms ' 

Northern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms ' 

Western Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms. 

Livestock farms • 

Southern Com Belt: 

.\11 commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms.. 

Livestock farms ' 


30.2 
30.6 
29.4 

56.5 
55.7 
59.2 

26.8 
27.6 
26.4 

24.2 
18.6 
29.0 

18.0 
17,6 
18.9 

33.4 
36.3 
31.7 


69.1 
69.7 
60.9 

54.4 
55.5 
55.9 

66.7 
66.6 
67.8 

74.8 
75.0 
78.0 

58.5 
60.2 
68.7 

60.7 
62 
52.1 


51.1 
51.1 
49.8 

91.7 
88.5 
96.6 

44.6 
45.7 
44.1 

65.6 
45.0 
63.8 

28.8 
28.9 
29.8 

59.4 
61.4 
57.3 


56.3 
57.9 
58.3 

54.2 
56.2 
56.7 

69.9 
59.9 
61.2 

67.6 
70.7 
71.4 

58.3 
61.5 
58.2 

49.3 
61.3 
51.1 


220 
220 
218 

264 

244 
266 

240 
268 
222 

184 
182 
184 

158 
144 
168 

212 
200 
228 


208 
214 
208 

254 
246 

270 

214 

232 
200 

166 
172 
168 

168 
148 
166 

208 
196 
224 



' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



.\s with the percentage of farms reporting, the percentage of 
total cropland fertilized declines as we go from Class I to Class VI 
farms (table 65). Commercial fertilizer was used on 43.3 percent 
of the cropland on Class I cash-grain farms but on only 21.5 percent 
of the cropland on Class VI cash-grain farms. Corn represented 
close to two-thirds of the total acreage fertilized on all economic 
classes of farms. Btit the three lower economic classes fertilized 
a smaller proportion of their corn acreage than did the three higher 
economic classes. Also, in general, the quantities of fertilizer 
used per acre on corn and other crops were smaller on the lower 
economic classes of farms. For example, the average rate of 
a])plication on corn was 186 pounds on Class VI livestock farms, 
compared with 242 pounds on Class I livestock farms. 



48 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Table 65. — Use of Commercial Fertilizer and Fertilizing 
Material on Commercial Farms, by Type and Economic 
Class of Farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 







Acres of 


Acres of 


Fertilizer 


Quantity of 




Total 


com 


com 


used on 


fertilizer used 




acres 


fertilized 


fertilized 


com 


per acre (poiuids) 


Type and economic class 


fertilized 


as a per- 


as a per- 


as a per- 




of farm 


as a per- 


centage 


centage 


centage 








centage 


of total 


of com 


of total 


Average 


Average 




of total 


acres 


acreage 


tons of 


for total 


for com 




cropland 


fertilized 


for all 


fertilizer 


acres 


fertilized 








purposes 


used 


fertilized 




All commercial farms 


30.2 


59.1 


51.1 


66.3 


220 


208 


Cash-grain farms: 














Total. 


30.5 


59.7 


51.1 


57.9 


220 


214 


Class I 


43.3 


60.3 


69.6 


61.7 


266 


272 


II... 


34.3 


60.7 


57.3 


58.7 


230 


222 


Ill . 


27.3 
25.2 
27.1 
21.5 


59.1 
57.6 
59.1 
65.1 


45.9 
41.7 
46.3 
39.4 


56.4 
65.2 
66.5 
61.7 


202 
200 
206 
208 


200 


IV 


192 


V. 


200 


VI 


196 


Livestock farms: ' 




Total 


29.4 


60.9 


49.8 


68.3 


218 


208 


Class I 


39.7 


62 3 


62.9 


61.3 


246 


242 


II 


33.0 


61.2 


54.1 


58.7 


214 


206 


Ill 


25.8 


60.4 


43.9 


56.7 


204 


192 


IV 


21.5 


59.4 


38.8 


65.2 


208 


192 


v.. . 


20.4 
18.2 


57.8 
62.8 


39.2 
42.5 


53.3 

57.8 


216 
204 


198 


VI 


186 



' Livestock other than dairy and poultry fiirms. 



LIME 

Much of the land hi the Corn Belt requh-es liming to correct 
soil acidity and to furnish available calcium for growing crops. 
Lime applied to acid soil also improves the physical condition of 
the soil, steps up the efficiency of fertilizers and manures applied, 
and increases the availability of phosphorus in the soil (11). 
Liming is particularly necessary on some soils for successful pro- 
duction of legume crops such as alfalfa, red clover, and sweet- 
clover. The quantity of lime used in the Corn Belt in 195i was 
more than double the quantity used in 1939. 

Lime and liming materials in the 1954 Census enumeration were 
to include ground limestone, hydrated and burnt lime, marl, 
oyster shells, and other forms of lime. .411 lime and liming 
materials purchased or to be purchased during the calendar year 
1954 for use on the farm were to be included whether paid for bj' 
the operator, or by the landlord, or jointly. Lime used under 
the Agricultural Conservation Program was to be included. All 
lime used for sprays or for sanitation purposes was to be excluded. 
Gypsum was not included or counted as a liming material. 

The proportion of farms reporting expenditures for lime and 
liming material Ln 1954 is shown on a county-unit basis for the 
United States in figure 31. In the western half of the country, 
lime was used on relatively few farms. In the eastern half, the 
percentage of farms reporting expenditures for lime ranged from 
less than 5 percent in many counties to 40 percent or more in some 



<t y^\^ARMS REPORTING EXPENDITURES FOR UME AND LIMING MATERIALS AS A PERCENT OF ALL FARMS. 1954 

/NiJ*;^ (COUNTY UNIT BASIS) 






_^ 






u .■ 






^.^^^^ 



LEGEND 

PERCENT 
i I UNDER 5 !■•?*¥:] 20 TO 29 

?"-i:l 5 TO 9 ^9 30 TO 39 

B^%%j 10 TO 19 BH 10 AND OVER 

«N0 F4RMS 

US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 




^^T^^i^ 



UNITED STATES AVERAGE 
10 9 PERCENT 



MAP NO A54- 279 



BUREAU Of THE CENSUS 



Figure 31. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



49 



counties. The area of most dense concentration of farms using 
lime was to the east of the Corn Belt, mainly in eastern Ohio, 
western and northern Pennsylvania, and southern New York. 
In the Corn Belt, most of the counties with relatively large per- 
centages of the farms reporting expenditures for lime and liramg 
material were in the eastern and southern areas. In the Western 
Corn Belt there were relatively few counties in which more than 
10 percent of the farms reported this expenditure. 

In the Corn Belt as a whole, 19 percent of the commercial farms 
reported expenditures for lime and liming material in 1954 (table 
06). Slightly more than a fourth of the commercial farms in the 
Southern and Eastern Corn Belt and about a fifth of those in the 
Central Corn Belt reported this item. The smallest proportions 
of farms using Ume were among the cash-grain farms of the 
Northern and Western Corn Belt. 



Table 66. — Use of Lime and Liming Material on Commer- 
ci.^L Farms, by Type of Farm, in the Corn Belt and Com- 
ponent Regions: 1954 



Region and type of farm 


Percent of 
commercial 
farms re- 
porting 
expenditures 
for lime and 
limmg 
material 


Acres limed 
as a percent- 
age of 
total 
cropland 


Average 
quantity of 

lime and 
liming ma- 
terial used 

per acre 
limed (tons) 


Total Com Belt: 


19.0 
17.8 
20.9 

26.1 
24.4 
31.0 

20.1 
20.1 
22 '^ 

13.9 
6 5 
18.7 

7.7 
6.4 
8.7 

26.8 
27.0 
2.S.7 


3.0 
2.7 
3.5 

5.1 
4.3 
6.6 

3,5 
3.3 
3.9 

2.U 
0.9 

2.8 

1.1 
0.8 
1.3 

4.6 
4.0 
6.4 


2. 1 


Cash-grain farms 


2 1 


Livestock farms ' 


2 1 


Eastern Corn Belt: 


1.9 


Cash-grain farms 


1 9 


Livc-tock farms ^ 


1 9 


Central Corn Bolt: 


2, 1 


Cash-grain farms . _ _ 


2 1 


Livestock farms ' 


2 2 


Northern Com Belt: 


2 5 


Cash-grain farms 


2 4 




2 5 


Western Cora Belt; 


1 8 


Cash-grain farms 


1.8 
1 8 


Southern Cora Belt: 

All commercial farms 


2 2 




2 3 











' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



Only 3 percent of the cropland on commercial farms in the Corn 
Belt was limed in 1954. On livestock farms in the Eastern Corn 
Belt 6.6 percent, and on livestock farms in the Southern Corn 
Belt 5.4 percent of the cropland was limed that year. But these 
percentages indicate that liming is an important farm practice in 
these areas, for after a field has been limed it usually does not have 
to be relimed for 6 to 10 years or more. 

The average quantity of lime or liming material used per acre 
limed was 2.1 tons. The heaviest applications, on the average, 
were made in the Northern Corn Belt and the lightest in the 
Western Corn Belt. 

Expenditures for lime and liming material were reported by 
larger proportions of the higher economic classes than of the lower 
economic classes of farms (table 67). About a third of the Class 
I farms reported using lime, compared with about a tenth of the 
Class VI farms. The percentage of cropland limed in 195-i did 
not show any particular relation to economic class except that the 
largest percentage of acreage limed was on the Class I farms. 
Rates of application per acre on Class V and Class VI farms 
appeared to be only slightly smaller than the average for all 
commercial farms. 

Table 67- — LJse of Lime and Liming Material on Commer' 
ciAL Farms, by Type and Economic Class of Farm, in the 
Corn Belt: 1954 



Type and economic class of farm 


Percent of 
commercial 
farms re- 
porting 
expenditures 
for lime and 
UmlDg 
material 


Acres limed 
as a percent- 
age of 
total 
cropland 


Average 
ciuantity of 

lime and 
liming ma- 
terial used 

per acre 
limed (tons) 




19.0 

17.8 
34.7 
23.8 
17.0 
14.8 
13.9 
9.7 

20.9 
30.9 
25.9 
2L4 
17.6 
14.2 
9.7 


3.0 

2.7 
4.2 
2.9 
2.2 
2.3 
2.8 
2.6 

3.6 
4.6 
3.6 
3.1 
2.9 
3.4 
3.8 


2 1 


Cash-grain farms: 

Total 




Class! 


2.1 


II 


2 1 


Ill 


2.1 


IV 


2.1 


V . 


2 


VI 


2 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total 




Class I 


2 1 


II 


2 1 


Ill 


2.1 


IV 


2 1 


V. 


2 


VI 









' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



50 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 
LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION 



The Corn Belt is a major region in American food production. 
It is particularly important in the production of livestock for 
meat. In 1954, 69.7 percent of all hogs and pigs sold, 28.2 
percent of all cattle and calves sold, and 21.3 percent of all sheep 
and lambs sold by commercial farms in the United States came 
from the Corn Belt. In addition, it produced 31.4 percent of all 
chicken eggs sold, and 20.7 percent of all milk sold by commercial 
farms. Most of the corn, oats, barley, and hay produced there 
is fed to livestock in the region, but laige quantities of these feed 
crops, especially of corn and oats, are shipped out of the Corn 
Belt to be fed to dairy cattle, poultry, and other livestock in 
other regions of the country. 

KIND AND NUMBER OF LIVESTOCK 

Cattle and calves. — There were 22.9 million head of cattle and 
calves on commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 (table 68). 
This was approximately a fourth of the United States total. 
Cattle and calves were distributed throughout the belt on all 
types of farms; somewhat more than half of the number were 
found on livestock farms, about a fifth on cash-grain farms, and 
the remainder on other types of farms. The heaviest concen- 
tration of cattle and calves was in the Western Corn Belt, which 
accounted for about a third of the total number. 

A little more than a third of the cattle and calves in the Corn 
Belt were cows, but less than half of these were kept for milk 
(table 68). The large proportion of calves and other young 
stock, as well as the proportion of cows kept for raising calves 
but not for milk, reflects the emphasis on cattle kept for beef 
production. Milk cows were relatively most numerous in the 



Table 68. — Number of Specified Livestock on Commercial 
Farms, by Type of Farm, in the Corn Belt and Component 
Regions: 1954 



Region and type of farm 



Total Com Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms 3 

Eastern Cora Belt: 

All commercial farms 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms 3 

Central Cora Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms 3. 

Northern Cora Belt: 
All commercial farms 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms ^ 

Westera Cora Belt: 

All commercial farms 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms ^ 

Southern Cora Belt: 

All commercial farms 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms ^. 



Horses 
and/or 
mules 



7,000 
head 

4.51 
95 

235 



131 
28 
79 



129 
21 
71 



All 
cattle 

and 
calves 



t.OOO 
head 

22, 908 
4,438 

13, S21 



3,173 

746 

1,362 



4,993 
1,261 
3,070 



3,438 

407 
1,750 



7,352 
1,336 
4,980 



3,952 

629 

2,360 



Cows ' 



1.000 
head 
8,719 
1,909 
4,399 



1,323 
332 

455 



1,658 
522 
842 



1,378 
195 
567 



2,534 

559 

1,520 



1.825 

301 

1,016 



MUk 
COWS 



1.000 
head 

4,158 
860 

1,434 



848 
195 
173 



768 
222 
316 



1,026 
122 
337 



860 
198 
376 



656 
113 
232 



Hogs 
and 
pigs 



1.000 
head 

36,654 
5,048 

25, 366 



6,401 
1,036 
3,997 



11,138 
1,850 
7,950 



6,100 

644 

3,617 



8,306 

919 

6,380 



4,708 

699 

3,423 



All 
sheep 



1.000 
head 
5,424 
1,068 
3,498 



1,200 
322 
602 



1,231 
330 
773 



736 
142 
428 



1,137 
140 
887 



1,120 
134 
807 



Chick- 
ens ^ 



1.000 
head 
110.369 
28.448 
45, 225 



19, 433 
5,236 
4,942 



26, 219 
8,210 
10, 948 



21, 080 
4,603 
7,794 



26, 508 
6,676 
13, C92 



18,128 
3,722 
7,849 



• All cows, including heifers that have calved. 

' Chickens 4 months old and over. 

3 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



Northern and Eastern Corn Belt and most of them were on 
dairy farms. 

A large proportion of the cattle fed on Corn Belt farms are 
calves and yearlings bought from the western range country. 
These young cattle are bought usually in the fall of the year and 
are kept for 3 to 15 months, during which time they are fed for 
additional growth and finish, to be marketed as fat heifers or 
steers. The length of time these feeder cattle (as they are called) 
are fed depends upon the supply of hay or other roughage and 
pasture available on the farm to which they are brought for 
fattening. 

On farms where most of the land is level and practically all 
used for crops, with little or no hay or pasture (as on many farms 
in the Central Corn Belt), the feeder cattle are fed mainly corn 
and protein-supplement feeds for a period only long enough to 
obtain a good finish at a relatively rapid gain in weight. On the 
other hand, on farms that have a surplus of pasture or of hay and 
pasture, the feeder calves bought in the fall are generally fed 
mainly on roughage (hay, corn fodder, or oat straw, for example) 
through the winter, and mainly on pasture through the following 
summer, after which they are placed in the feed lot and fed mainly 
on corn and oil meal for a few months. They are then marketed 
as prime or choice fat cattle. 

The size of the cattle-feeding enterprise, or the number of 
cattle fed on a farm, is flexible. It often varies considerably 
from year to year on a particular farm. An important factor 
affecting the scale of feeding operations is the supply of corn or 
other feed available and this varies from year to year with the 
volume of crop production, which in turn is affected by weather 
and other production conditions. Other major factors are the 
relative prices of feed grains, feeder cattle, and finished cattle. 
The anticipated market price of hogs, compared with that of 
cattle, is also a principal consideration to the farmer who weighs 
the alternative methods of marketing his feed grain. 

Beef breeding herds are found usually on farms that have a 
large proportion of rolling or rough land or other untillable land 
that is kept in pasture or hay. Many such farms are found in 
the Corn Belt, especially in the southern and western parts. On 
these farms beef cows are kept for the primary purpose of pro- 
ducing calves; the calves are raised and fattened mainly on feed 
grown on the farm or they may be sold to other farmers for 
fattening. On some farms where calves are raised from beef 
cows on the farm, additional calves or young feeder cattle may 
be purchased, to be fed and fattened for market. 

In 1954, cattle and calves were reported on 88.5 percent of all 
the commercial farms in the Corn Belt (table 69). The number 
of farms reporting ranged from about 82 percent in the Eastern 
Corn Belt to about 92 percent in the Western Corn Belt. Even 
among the cash-grain farms, 78.4 percent reported cattle and 
calves. Cows were reported on 82.9 percent and milk cows on 
69.6 percent of the commercial farms. The difference in per- 
centage of farms reporting milk cows and those reporting all cows 
is only a partial indication of the proportion of beef-breeding 
farms, as many farms with primarily beef herds had one or more 
milk cows for producing milk for home use or for sale. Also, the 
difference in percentage of farms reporting cows and those report- 
ing any cattle and calves does not fully indicate the proportion oi 
farms having feeder cattle only. Some farms had, or would have 
feeder cattle at some time during the year even though they did 
not have them on the dates of the Census enumeration. 



CASH'GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



51 



Table 69. — Percent of Commercial Farms, by Type, Report- 
ing Specified Kinds of Livestock, in the Corn Belt and 
Component Regions: 1954 



Kcgion and type of farm 



Total Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms * 

Eastern Com Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestoek farms 3. 

Central Com Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms s. 

Northern Com Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms 3. 

Western Com Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-gi-aln farms. 
Livestock farms '. 

Southern Com Belt: 

All commercial farms. 
Cash-grain farms. 
Livestock farms '. 



Horses 
and/or 
mules 



Percent 
25.3 
17.3 
31.3 



14.8 
10.7 
17.9 



18.6 
14.1 
23.0 



24.8 
16.1 
28.0 



31.7 
23.7 
37.3 



37.2 
25.2 
43.6 



AU 
cattle 

and 
calves 


Cows ' 


Milk 
cows 


Hogs 
and 
pigs 


All 
sheep 


Percent 

88.5 
78.4 
95.0 


Percent 
82.9 
74.0 
87.7 


Per- 
cent 
69.6 
57.3 
70.0 


Percent 
69.4 
50.1 
87.3 


Percent 
15.8 
13.9 
IS. 7 


82.3 
71.9 
91.1 


75.6 
64.9 
80.4 


62.1 
50.8 
57.4 


60.3 
43.0 
86.2 


19.5 
16 9 
26.6 


88.1 
80.7 
94.8 


81.6 
76.2 
84.6 


64.2 

64.8 
67.0 


73.7 
64.1 
92.7 


19.3 
19.1 
20.3 


89.6 
74.3 
95.3 


84.8 
69.8 
86.6 


75.1 
66.6 
72.6 


77.4 
63.5 
91.8 


16 3 
14.6 
18.8 


91.7 
83.4 
96.6 


87.5 
80.7 
90.2 


73.5 
64.7 
74.4 


69.6 
48.6 
85.3 


8.4 
6.0 
10.1 


91.4 
80.9 
95.9 


85.6 
78.6 
93.3 


75.5 
62.5 
75.1 


69.3 
54.9 
82.8 


16 5 
10 8 
22.3 



Chick- 
ens - 



Percent 
78.3 



80.6 



70.2 
60.5 
70.3 



76.6 
7U. 4 
79.6 



81.0 
73.0 
82.1 



82.8 
76.1 
84.9 



81.8 
73.6 
82.6 



* All cows, including heifers that have calved. 

2 Chickens 4 months old and over. 

3 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



The percentage of farms reporting cattle and calves was higher 
among the upper economic classes of farms, especially among the 
cash-grain farms (table 70). For example, 85.7 percent of the 
Class I cash-grain farms reported cattle and calves compared 
with 55.5 percent of the Class VI farms. In the case of livestock 
farms, the percentages of farms reporting cattle and calves were 
about the same for Classes I, II, and III, but were slightly smaller 
for Classes IV, V, and VI. The differences between economic 
classes were wider in the case of farms reporting cows. It should 
be noted also that the percentage of Class I farms reporting cows 
was smaller than that for farms in some of the other economic 
classes, especially among the livestock farms. This indicates the 
relatively greater frequency of feeder-cattle ventures on the Class I 
farms. Milk cows also were reported relatively less often on 
Class I and Class II farms than on Class III farms. 

Table 70. — Percent of Farms in Each Type, Reporting 
Specified Kinds of Livestock, by Economic Class of Farm, 
in the Corn Belt: 1954 



Type and economic class of farm 


Horses 
and/or 
mules 


AU 
cattle 

and 
calves 


Cows ' 


Milk 
cows 


Hogs 
and 
pigs 


AU 
sheep 


Chick- 
ens ' 


All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms: 
Total... 


Per- 
caU 
26.3 

17.3 
22.5 
16.6 
16.0 
17.4 
18.6 
24.6 

31.3 
36.0 

27.6 
28.9 
34.1 
34.8 
37.4 


Per- 
cent 
88.5 

78.4 
85.7 
85.3 
83.1 
75.4 
64.2 
66.5 

96.0 
96.6 
96.6 
96.5 
96.0 
91.1 
87.2 


Per- 
cent 
82.9 

74.0 
77.8 
80.1 
79.4 
71.4 
69.0 
61.4 

87.7 
76.9 
86.8 
91.4 
90.7 
86.2 
83.4 


Per- 
cent 
69.6 

67.3 
54.4 
60.3 
62.8 
55.6 
46.2 
40.3 

70.0 
63.6 
69.9 
74.7 
71.7 
63.9 
61.8 


Per- 
cent 
69,4 

50.1 
60.6 
60.1 
55.3 
44.0 
33,7 
27.0 

87.3 
90.0 
92.8 
92.4 
87.7 
75.6 
68.1 


Per- 
cent 
15.8 

13.9 
20.1 
18.5 
14.4 
11.6 
9.4 
5.4 

18.7 
19.6 
19.5 
18.2 
19.0 
18.3 
16.6 


Per- 
cent 
78.3 

69.9 
60.1 
71 2 


Class I 


11 


III 




IV.. 


68 8 


V 




VI 


61.7 
80 6 


Livestock farms: 3 
Total.. 


Class I 


70.0 
SO. 9 
84.1 


11.. 


III. . 


IV 


V... 


77 8 


VI 









* All cows, including heifers that have calved. 

' Chickens 4 months old and over. 

3 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



The commercial farms reporting cattle and calves had an aver- 
age of 32 head of cattle and calves per farm (table 71). The 
average size of herd was almost twice as large in the Western 
Corn Belt as in the Eastern (43 head compared with 22). Live- 
stock farms averaged 44 head per herd, while cash-grain farms 
averaged 21. The largest herds were on livestock farms in the 
Western Corn Belt (averaging 56 head), and the smallest were on 
cash-grain farms in the Eastern Corn Belt (averaging 15 head). 
But herds on livestock farms in the Eastern Corn Belt averaged 
larger than those on cash-grain farms in every region. The 
number of cows per herd ranged from an average of 10 in the 
Eastern Corn Belt to 16 in the Western Corn Belt. The number 
of milk cows per farm reporting was largest in the Northern Corn 
Belt and smallest in the Southern and Western Corn Belt. 

Table 71- — Average Number of Specified Livestock Per 
Farm Reporting, for Commercial Farms by Type, in the 
Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 



Region and type of farm 


Horses 
and/or 
mules 


AU 

cattle 

and 

calves 


Cows 1 


Milk 
cows 


Hogs 
and 
pigs 


AU 
sheep 


Chick- 
ens' 


Total Cora Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms.. 

Livestock farms 3 

Eastern Cora Belt: 

AU commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms' 

Central Com Belt: 

AU commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms' 

Northern Com Belt: 

AU commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms' 

Western Corn Belt: 

AU commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms ' 

Southem Cora Belt: 

.uncommercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms ' 


Num- 
ber 
2 
2 
2 

2 
2 
2 

2 
2 
2 

2 
2 
2 

2 
2 
2 

2 
2 
2 


Num- 
ber 
32 
21 
44 

22 
16 
29 

34 
23 

46 

35 
23 

45 

43 

27 
56 

27 
19 
35 


Num- 
ber 
13 
10 
15 

10 
7 
11 

12 
10 
14 

15 
10 
10 

16 
12 
18 

14 

9 
16 


Num- 
ber 
7 
6 
6 

8 
6 
6 

7 
6 

7 

13 
8 
11 

6 
5 
6 

6 
4 
4 


Num- 
ber 
66 
38 
89 

60 
35 

90 

90 
50 
119 

73 
44 
97 

64 
32 

82 

43 
27 
68 


Num- 
ber 
43 
29 
67 

35 

28 
44 

38 
25 
53 

42 
36 

66 

73 
39 
96 

43 

30 
61 


Num- 
ber 
177 
164 
172 

156 
127 
137 

196 
169 
191 

240 
230 
234 

172 
149 
176 

141 

124 
134 



' AU cows, including heifers that have calved. 

' Chickens 4 months old and over. 

' Li%-estock other tlian dau-y and poultry farms. 



Table 72. — Average Number of Specified Livestock Per 
Farm Reporting, by Type of Farm by Economic Class, in 
THE Corn Belt: 1954 



Type and economic class of farm 


Horses 
and/or 
mults 


AU 
cattle 

and 
calves 


Cows 1 


MUk 
cows 


Hogs 
and 
pigs 


AU 
sheep 


Chick- 
ens ' 


AU commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms: 

Total 


Num- 
ber 
2 

2 
3 
2 
2 
2 
2 
2 

2 
3 

2 
2 
2 
2 
2 


Num- 
ber 
32 

21 
54 
29 
21 
16 
10 

44 
135 
65 
38 
28 
20 
13 


Num- 
ber 
13 

10 
21 
13 

10 

7 
5 
4 

16 
24 
19 
16 
13 
10 


Num- 

6 
7 
7 
6 
6 
3 
3 

6 
6 
7 
7 
6 
4 
3 


Num- 
ber 
66 

38 
96 
55 
36 
23 
14 
8 

89 
220 
126 
79 
51 
31 
18 


Num- 
ber 
43 

29 
53 
35 
28 
24 
19 
13 

67 
206 
61 
45 
38 
34 
26 


Num- 
ber 
177 


Class I.. 


176 


II 




III 


168 


IV. 


134 


V 




VI. 


75 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total. 




Class I . 


211 


II 




Ill 


185 


IV 




V 


115 


VI 


85 







' All cows, including heifers that have calved. 

3 Chickens 4 months old and over. 

3 Livestock other than dany and poultry farms. 



52 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



The average size of cattle herd shows a strong correlation with 
economic class of farm (table 72). Among the cash-grain farms, 
Class I farms had an average of 54 head of cattle and calves per 
farm reporting, while Class VI farms had an average of only 7. 
Among the livestock farms. Class I farms had an average of 135 
head per farm reporting; Class VI farms had 13. The size of 
herds on other economic classes of farms ranged between these 
extremes. The situation was similar for cows per herd on the 
different economic classes of farms. The general pattern was 
also similar for milk cows, but the differences were less extreme. 

Hogs and pigs. — Hogs and pigs on commercial farm.s in the 
Corn Belt in 1954 numbered 36.7 million head, approximately 
two-thirds of the total number on all commercial farms in the 
United States (table 68) . Hog numbers in the United States and 
in the Corn Belt were relatively low in 1954 in comparison with 
numbers during the preceding 15 years (S). Hogs and pigs were 
found on all types of farms throughout the Corn Belt, but were 
relatively most numerous on livestock farms in the Central Corn 
Belt. In the Corn Belt as a whole, about 69 percent of the hogs 
and pigs were on livestock farms. 

Hogs and pigs are not found on as many farms as are cattle and 
calves, but hog production is a major enterprise and a principal 
source of income on a larger proportion of farms. Pigs are usually 
raised and finished for market on the farm where they are farrowed. 
Relatively few commercial farms in the Corn belt raise feeder 
pigs that are shipped in from other areas. Usually, less than 
two-thirds as many litters of pigs are farrowed in the fall as in the 
spring in the Corn Belt as a whole. Fall farrowing is much less 
common in the Western and Northern Corn Belt than in the 
Eastern and Southern Corn Belt because the more severe winters 
in the northern and western regions are less favorable for the 
raising of fall pigs. As hogs are fed largely on concentrate feeds, 
the hog enterprise is well adapted to farms where large crops of 
corn are raised. Hogs and beef cattle, or hogs and dairy pro- 
duction, are often found on the same farm. Where beef cattle 
are fed, hogs can salvage feed that otherwise would be wasted; 
and on dairy farms where only cream is sold, the skim milk can 
be fed to hogs. 

Hogs and pigs were reported on 69. 4 percent of the commercial 
farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 (table 69). They were most fre- 
quently reported on farms in the Northern and Central Corn Belt 
and relatively least frequently in the Eastern Corn Belt. They 
were found on 50.1 percent of the cash-grain farms and on 87.3 
percent of the livestock farms in the Corn Belt. 

Hogs and pigs were found relatively more often on the higher 
income classes than on the lower income classes of farms (table 
70). On cash-grain farms about 60 percent of the Class I and 
Class II farms reported hogs and pigs compared with 27 percent on 
Class VI farms. On livestock farms, hogs and pigs were reported 
on 90 percent or more of the Classes I, II, and III farms and on 
75.6 percent of the Class V farms. 

The average number of hogs and pigs per farm reporting in the 
Corn Belt was 66 for all commercial farms, 38 for cash-grain farms, 
and 89 for livestock farms (table 71). The average number per 
farm was highest on livestock farms in the Central Corn Belt (119 
head), and lowest on cash-grain farms in the Southern Corn Belt 
(27 head). The great variation in size of the hog enterprise on 
different farms is shown strikingly in table 72. Class I livestock 
farms had an average of 220 hogs and pigs per farm reporting 
while Class II livestock farms had 126, Class VI livestock farms 
had 18, Class I cash-grain farms had 96, and Class VI cash-grain 
farms had 8. 



Chickens. — Approximately a third of all the chickens 4 months 
old and over on commercial farms in the United States in the fall 
of 1954 were in the Corn Belt. From the national standpoint, the 
Corn Belt is a leading source of chicken eggs. The 110.4 million 
chickens reported on commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 
were widely distributed throughout all regions and were found on 
all types of farms (table 68). Chickens were reported on from 
70 percent to 83 percent of all commercial farms in the various 
regions (table 69). They were found somewhat more frequently 
on livestock farms than on cash-grain farms. Flocks were kept 
by a relatively larger proportion of the Classes II, III, and IV 
farms than of the higher income and lower income classes of farms 
(table 70). The average size of flock on all farms reporting was 
177 birds (table 71). The largest average size of flock was on com- 
mercial farms in the Northern Corn Belt and the smallest on cash- 
grain farms in the Southern Corn Belt. In general, the higher 
economic classes of farms had larger flocks than the lower economic 
classes, the number of birds ranging from an average of 211 on 
Class I livestock farms down to 75 on Class VI cash-grain farms 
(table 72). 

Farm flocks of chickens in the Corn Belt are kept mainly for egg 
production. Hens and a few cockerels are raised mainly from 
chicks bought in the spring from commercial hatcheries. The 
principal income from the flocks is from eggs sold. Sales of chick- 
ens for meat arise mainly from the culling of hens and pullets and 
the sale of a few extra chickens, so as to reduce the size of flock to 
the capacity of the poultry house in the fall. 

From the standpoint of total farm income in the Corn Belt, 
chicken and egg production is a relatively minor enterprise. 
Nevertheless, it is a fairly important source of income on many 
farms and it provides a valuable contribution in the form of eggs 
and meat for the household on most of the farms. The farm flock 
requires a relatively small investment of capital and much of the 
labor is relatively light and is frequently done by the farm wife 
or other members of the operator's family. 

Sheep. — Sheep production is a minor enterprise in the Corn 
Belt as a whole. However, there were 5.4 million sheep on com- 
mercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 and they were found on all 
types of farms in all regions. Sheep production is of two general 
types. The most usual is the farm flock, found most frequently 
on farms having a high percentage of untillable land or other low- 
grade pasture, and on which the production of concentrate feeds 
in proportion to pasture crops is not great enough to produce beef 
cattle. Such farms are found scattered throughout the Corn 
Belt and are relatively most numerous in the Southern and 
Eastern Corn Belt. The other form of the sheep enterprise is the 
feeding and fattening of western lambs. Most of the lamb feed- 
ing is on farms in the Central and Western Corn Belt where large 
quantities of corn and oats are grown. 

Sheep were reported on 15.8 percent of the commercial farms in 
the Corn Belt in 1954, and more frequently on livestock farms 
than on cash-grain farms (table 69). Among cash-grain farms, 
sheep were reported on relatively fewer of the lower income 
classes of farms, but among livestock farms the frequency of 
reporting was more nearly alike on all economic classes. The 
average size of flock per commercial farm reporting was 43 head. 
Flocks averaged largest on livestock farms in the Western Corn 
Belt (96 head), and smallest on cash-grain farms in the Central 
Corn Belt (25 head per farm reporting). Size of flock declines 
steadily as we go from the higher to the lower economic classes 
of farms. Class I livestock farms had an average of 206 sheep 
per flock; Class VI livestock farms had an average of 26. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



53 



SALES OF LIVESTOCK AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCTS 

Data on sales of livestock and livestock products are essential to 
an accurate understanding of livestock operations on commercial 
farms. Sales data serve to supplement the information on farms 
reporting and on numbers of livestock on an inventory date. 
They give a more complete picture of livestock enterprises by 
revealing livestock production carried on at a different time of the 
year but not present at the time of the Census enumeration — for 
example, cattle sold, hogs sold, etc. They present the commercial 
phase of livestock operations as distinguished from the overall 
phase which often includes a considerable proportion of production 
that is primarily or exclusively for direct use by the farm house- 
hold. 

Distribution of cattle and calves sold alive in the United States 
in 1054 is shown in figure 32. Cattle are sold on farms throughout 
the Nation, but tlie main regions where large numbers are sold are 
the Corn Belt and the Great Plains States. The concentration 
of sales is particularly heavy in areas of the Western and Central 
Corn Belt. Sales of cattle were reported on 81.9 percent of the 
farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 (table 73). This was a larger per- 
centage of farms than reported sales of any other livestock or live- 
stock product in the Corn Belt as a whole. The greatest propor- 
tion of farms reporting sales of cattle and calves was among live- 
stock farms in the Western Corn Belt and the smallest proportion 
was among cash-grain farms in the Eastern Corn Belt. Cattle 
were sold by 97.9 percent of the Class I livestock farms and by 
more than 90 percent of the Classes II, III, and IV livestock farms 
(table 74). Only 27 percent of the Class VI cash-grain farms re- 
ported cattle sold, but even this number was greater than the num- 
ber selling any other livestock item except chicken eggs. The 
average value of cattle sold per farm reporting, however, was 
smaller than the average sales of hogs per farm reporting on every 
economic class of farm except Class I (table 75). The wide 
differences in incomes of the different economic classes of farms are 
apparent from the great spread from Class I to Class VI farms in 
the receijits from the two principal classes of livestock — cattle 
and hogs.J 

Table 73. — Percent of Farms Reporting Sales of Specified 
Livestock and Livestock Products, by Principal Types of 
F.'^RMs, in the Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 





Livestock and livestock products sold 


Region and type of farm 


Cattle 

and 

calves 


Hogs 
and 
pigs 


Chickens 


Chicken 
eggs 


Sheep 


Total Com Belt: 

AU commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms '. 

Eastern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms ' 

Central Corn Belt: 

AU commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms ' 

Northern Com Belt: 

AU commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms i 

Western Cora Belt: 

AU commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms ' 

Southern Com Belt: 

AU commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms ■ 


Percent 
81.9 
65.6 
92.8 

73.4 
57.0 
87.4 

80.8 
68.3 
92.1 

85.6 
64.4 
94.3 

86.2 
72.5 
94.8 

84.9 
66-0 
93.9 


Percent 
69.0 
48.1 
89.1 

69.3 
40.1 
88.6 

74.8 
64.2 
94.9 

77.9 
63.0 
93.5 

69.8 
47.5 
86.7 

66.7 
48.6 
84.0 


Percent 
48.9 
39.4 
51.6 

41.6 
31.9 
42.8 

51.7 
44.0 
54.7 

65.0 
45.2 
68.3 

52.0 
42.2 
65.1 

46.6 
36.1 
46.6 


Percent 
66.2 
65.9 
69.4 

54.1 
44.1 

65.3 

65.6 
57.0 
69.4 

74.1 
6.5.1 
76.4 

72. S 
64.1 
76.4 

67.0 
55.7 
67.8 


Percent 
13.7 
11.1 
17.3 

16.6 
13.4 

24.2 

16.9 
16.1 
17.8 

13.3 
XL 6 
16.3 

7.6 
4.9 
9.6 

16.8 
9.4 
22.4 



I Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 




Figure 32. 



Table 74. — Percent of Commercial Farms Reporting 
Specified Livestock and Livestock Products Sold, by Type 
AND Economic Class of Farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 





Livestock and Uvestock products sold 


Type and economic class of farm 


Cattle 

and 
calves 


Hogs 
and 
pigs 


Chickens 


Chicken 
eggs 


Sheep 


.\ll commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms: 

Total - 


Percent 

81.9 

66.6 
81.3 

78.4 
72.8 
69.9 
41.9 
26.6 

92.8 
97.9 
96.9 
95.3 
91.8 
84.3 
76.9 


Percent 
69.0 

48.1 
62.9 
61.2 
64.8 
40.4 
27.0 
14.2 

89.1 
92.6 
95.1 
94.3 
89.1 
77.3 
66.6 


Percent 
48.9 

39.4 
36. 1 
46.1 
45.8 
3.^3 
24.4 
18.7 

61.6 
49.8 
60.1 
67.7 
47.9 
37.3 
29.6 


Percent 
66.2 

65.9 
46.0 
59.3 
62.6 
64.6 
42.3 
36.0 

69.4 
69.9 
72.6 
76.1 
69.4 
60.7 
66.9 


Percent 
13.7 

11. 1 


Class I 


17.3 


II 


16.6 


III 


11.4 


IV _. 


9.2 


V 


7.0 


VI 


3.2 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total 


17.3 


Class I 


18.7 


II . 


18.1 


III 


10.7 


IV 


17.7 


v 


17.0 


VI - 


16.2 







I Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



Table 75. — Average V.alue of Specified Livestock and 
Livestock Products Sold Per Commercial Farm Report- 
ing, IN the Corn Belt: 1954 





Livestock and Uvestock products sold (dollars) 


Type and economic class of farm 


Cattle 

and 
calves 


Hogs 
and 
pigs 


Chickens 


Chicken 
eggs 


Sheep 


AU commercial farms 

Cash-grahi farms: 

Total . 


2,659 

970 
4,543 
1,490 
766 
466 
278 
162 

4,462 

28,450 

6,325 

2,065 

1,180 

742 

391 


3,076 

1,343 

4,528 

1,917 

1,199 

662 

378 

235 

4,383 
13, 326 
6,680 
3,551 
1,881 
981 
460 


160 

90 
162 
113 
89 
70 
68 
39 

94 
165 
112 
90 
74 
69 
40 


448 

340 
606 
473 
356 
264 
162 
94 

401 
601 
647 
422 
292 


735 
323 


Class I 


666 


11 


402 


Ill 


297 


IV 


242 


v 


179 


VI . . . . 


125 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total 


1,115 


Class I 

II 


7,907 
899 


III... 


512 


IV 


407 


v 


198 3.W 


VI 


108 260 









I Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



54 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Distribution of hogs and pigs sold alive in the United States in 
1954 is shown in figure 33. Sales of hogs are not so widely diffused 
through all States as are cattle sales. The great bulk and con- 
centration of hog sales is in the Corn Belt where they were re- 
ported on 69 percent of all the commercial farms. On livestock 
farms in the Eastern and Central Corn Belt, the numbers of farms 
reporting sales of hogs and pigs were slightly greater than the 
numbers reporting sales of cattle and calves (table 73). Sales of 
hogs and pigs were reported by 48.1 percent of the cash-grain 
farms and by 89. 1 percent of the livestock farms. Sales from this 
enterprise were made by relatively more of the farms in the higher 
economic classes than in the lower economic classes. 





HOGS SOLD 

NUMBER OF HOGS AND PIGS SOLD AL 


VE. 1954 


fii?' 


IICTt^ 


~~]~} 


^r V 1 


E^F^, 


^j:. 


1 


~~pZXji 


\ \ 


UNITED STATES TOTAL 
57.418,588 


\ ^ ID0T.I0.O0C 


HEAD ^ 

BASIS! 




Hi. NMHTHENT Of COMHtdtt 


^ 


■■"eiPtw Of r,* c£«su5 



Figure 33. 



The Corn Belt is one of the three main areas supplying chicken 
eggs for market in the United States (fig. 34). The other areas 
are in the Northeastern States and in California. Egg production 
is not so densely concentrated in any part of the Corn Belt as it is 
in some sections of the Northeast and of California. But the 
great number of laying flocks throughout the Corn Belt makes this 
one of the principal egg-producing regions of the country. 

Chicken eggs were sold by 66.2 percent of all commercial farms 
in the Corn Belt in 1954. The highest proportion of farms selling 



CHICKEN EGGS SOLD 

DOZENS. 1954 




UNITED STATES TCfTAL 

vsMiaisa 



\ BlMKTKlIT 0* COMHEIKf 



Figure 34. 



eggs was in the Northern Corn Belt (74.1 percent). Egg sales 
were reported by 55.9 percent of the cash-grain farms and by 69.4 
percent of the livestock farms in the Corn Belt. Farms selling 
eggs were a larger proportion of all farms among Class II and 
Class III farms than among Class I farms or among the lower 
economic classes. The average value of sales of eggs per farm 
reporting, however, was greatest on Class I farms. On livestock 
farms, the value of eggs sold per farm ranged from $601 on Class I 
farms down to $108 on Class VI farms. On Class VI cash-grain 
farms, sales of eggs averaged only $94 per farm reporting. Sales 
of chickens were reported by fewer farms than the number report- 
ing egg sales in all regions and on all economic classes of farms. 
The average value of chickens sold per farm was consistently less 
than the value of eggs sold. 

Turkeys are raised on many farms throughout the United States, 
but the bulk of the production is concentrated in several relatively 
small areas in scattered locations (fig. 35) . Several areas of inten- 
sive turkey production are located within the Corn Belt, mainly 
in the Northern, Central, and Eastern Cora Belt. Although 
turkey production is found on relatively few farms in the Corn 
Belt as a whole, it is a large enterprise in many counties, and 
is usually a major source of income to the producers. Turkey 
raising is typically a large-scale enterprise. Flocks of 5,000 or 
more turkeys are not uncommon. The average size of the turkey 
enterprise in Iowa in 1954 was about 2,000 birds. 



TURKEYS RAISED 
NLWBER.I954 




Figure 35. 



Sales of sheep were reported by only 13.7 percent of all the 
commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954, but the proportion of 
farms selling sheep varied rather widely between regions and 
types of farms. Sheep were sold by about a fourth of the livestock 
farms in the Eastern Corn Belt, but by only a twentieth of the 
cash-grain farms in the Western Corn Belt. Generally, sales of 
sheep were reported by fewer farmers than reported sheep on hand. 
This reflects the practice of keeping sheep primarily for wool pro- 
duction on a number of farms. The average value of sheep sold 
per farm reporting among Class I livestock farms was $7,907, but 
it ranged from $899 on Class II livestock farms down to $260 on 
Class VI livestock farms. On cash-grain farms, the average 
receipts from sheep sold were smaller. The large receipts from 
sheep sold on Class I livestock farms apparently were made up 
largely from sales of fattened feeder lambs. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



55 



Cattle and hogs each accounted for approximately 39 percent 
of the total value of livestock and livestock products sold on all 
commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 (table 76). Cattle 
and hogs together accounted for 68.5 percent of the total on 
cash-grain farms and for 89.3 percent of the total on livestock 
farms. Sales of chickens and eggs totaled about 7 percent, milk 
(and cream) accounted for 12.8 percent, and sheep and wool for 
2.3 percent of the livestock and livestock product receipts on all 
commercial farms. Hogs and pigs brought a larger proportion of 
the total than did cattle and calves in all regions except in the 



Western Corn Belt. The largest percentage of livestock receipts 
accounted for by eggs was in the Northern Corn Belt; this was 
also the region where receipts from milk were relatively the 
greatest. 

On Class I farms of both the cash-grain and livestock types, 
cattle accounted for a larger percentage of the total livestock sales 
than did hogs (table 77). This was the case also for Class VI 
farms of both types and for Class IV and Class V cash-grain farms. 
On Class I livestock farms cattle sales brought in 65 percent of the 
livestock receipts, while hogs brought in 28.8 percent. On 



T.-vBLE 76. — Percentage Composition of Value of Sales of Specified Livestock and Livestock Products on Principal Types of 

Farms, in the Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 





Livestock and livestock products sold 


Reglou and type of farm 


Total 1 


Cattle and 
calves 


Hogs and 
pigs 


Chickens 


Chicken 
eggs 


Milk 


Sheep 


Wool" 


Total Com Belt: 


Percent 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100. 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 

100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100 

100,0 
100 
100.0 


Percent 
38 8 
34.0 
46.0 

23.8 
24.9 
30 3 

39.7 
36 
44,2 

30.0 
27.7 
38.9 

54. 1 
44.6 
59,0 

30.0 
33.6 
42 3 


Percent 
39.3 
34.6 
43.3 

43.8 
35 5 
58,1 

44,6 
35 9 
47.0 

38.1 
34.0 
43.1 

31.6 
30 3 
32 4 

39.7 
37.1 
46.5 


Percent 
1.4 
1.9 
0,5 

3.2 
2.3 
0.7 

1,0 
1,8 
5 

1, 1 
1.9 
0.6 

0.8 
1,6 
0.4 

1.7 
1.9 
0.6 


Percent 
5.5 
10 1 
3.1 

6.7 
9.5 
2.8 

4.8 
9.6 
2 8 

7 2 
14^2 
4.6 

4.0 
9.4 
2.6 

6.0 
9.9 
3.5 


Percent 
12 8 
16.9 
4,6 

20 3 
24.2 
5,8 

8,1 
14.3 
3 8 

21.5 
19.9 
9.9 

7.0 
12.5 
2.9 

13.7 
14.6 
3.7 


Percent 
1.9 
1.9 
2.1 

1.7 
2.6 
1.9 

1.5 
1.8 
1.5 

1.9 

1.8 
2 6 

2 2 
1.3 

2.4 

2.3 
2.2 
2.7 


Percent 
0.4 




0.6 




3 


Eastern Com Belt: 

All commercial farms 


0.5 




0.9 




0.5 


Central Corn Belt: 


0.3 




0.6 




0.2 


Northern Corn Belt: 


0.3 




0.6 




0.3 


Westem Corn Belt: 


0.3 




0.4 




0.3 


Southern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms - 


0.6 




0.7 


Livestock farms 3 


7 







' Total of 7 livestock items listed in columns at right. 

2 Value of wool shorn. Practically all of the wool shorn was sold. 

• Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



Table 77- — Percentage Composition of Total Value of Sales of Specified Livestock and Livestock Products on Commercial 

Farms, by Economic Class, in the Corn Belt: 1954 









Livestock and livestock produc 


ssold 






Type and economic class of farm 


Total 1 


Cattle and 
calves 


Hogs and 
pigs 


Chickens 


Chicken 
eggs 


Milk 


Sheep 


Wool' 


All commercial farms 


Percent 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
lOOO 
100.0 


Percent 
38.8 

34.0 
48.5 

35 3 
29.7 
30 6 

30 1 
29.1 

46.0 
65 
40 3 

31 3 

32 3 

36 5 
42 


Percent 
39.3 

34,5 
37.4 
35 6 
35.1 
28.8 
26 3 
24. 1 

43 3 

28.8 
49,6 
63 5 
60,0 
44,2 
35 6 


Percent 
1.4 

1.9 
0.8 
1.6 
2 2 
2.7 
3.7 
5 2 

0.6 
0.2 
0.5 
0.8 
1.1 
1.3 
1.7 


Percent 
5.5 

10 1 
3.1 
8.5 
11.9 
15 1 
17.7 
24.4 

3.1 

0.8 
3.1 

5 1 

6 1 

7.0 
8 4 


Percent 
12.8 

16 9 
8.6 
16.7 
18.7 
19.4 
17.7 
12 9 

4.6 
1.4 
5 
7.6 
7.7 
6.4 
5 


Percent 
1.9 

1.9 
1.5 
1.9 
1.8 
2.4 
3.3 
2.8 

2.1 
3.4 
1.3 
1.4 
2.1 
3.6 
6.6 


Percent 
0.4 


Cash-grain farms: 

Total - 


6 


Class! 


0.3 


11 


0.6 


Ill 


0.6 


rv 


0.9 


V 


1.3 


VI 


1.4 


Livestock farms: ^ 
Total 


0.3 


Class I - 


0.2 


II 


0.2 


Ill 


0.4 


IV 


0.7 


v.. . 


1.1 


VI 


1.9 







1 Total of 7 livestock items listed in columns at right. 

i Value of wool shorn. Practically all of the wool shorn was sold. 

' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



56 FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 

Table 78. — Value of Sales of Specified Livestock and Livestock Products on Commercial Farms in the Corn Belt: 1954 









Livestock and livestock products sold (thousand dollars) 




Type and economic class of farm 


Total ' 


Cattle and 
calves 


Hogs and 
pigs 


Chickens 


Chicken 
eggs 


Milk 


Sheep 


Wool 2 




4, 308, 838 

494, 651 
49, 480 
205, 102 
168, 866 
56, 680 
13, 142 
1,381 

2. 942, 050 

973, 006 

1. 070. 320 

692, 098 

224, 529 

68, 584 

13, 614 


1, 669, 981 

168, 332 
23,992 
72, 430 
50, 226 
17, 327 
3,955 
402 

1, 362, 178 

632, 561 

431, 144 

186, 176 

72, 698 

25,023 

6,676 


1, 692, 387 

170, 719 
18, 506 
72, 809 
59, 266 
16, 342 
3,462 
333 

1, 275, 000 
280, 337 
630, 723 
316, 502 
112,326 
30. 312 
4,801 


62, 439 

9.379 

380 

3,239 

3,664 

1,543 

481 

72 

16, 866 
1, 869 
5. 626 
4,900 
2,374 
872 
225 


236, 152 

50,206 
1,513 
17, 399 
20, 052 
8,583 
2,321 
337 

90,924 

8,181 

33,204 

29.999 

13, 599 

4,804 

1,136 


562, 161 

83,468 
4,182 
34, 236 
31,641 
11,007 
2,323 
178 

135,035 
14, 105 
53, 435 
45, 143 
17, 262 
4,408 
681 


80, 477 

9,505 

747 

3,851 

3,068 

1,372 

42.8 

39 

63, 150 
33, 524 
13, 684 
8,077 
4,819 
2,403 
744 


15,242 


Casb-grain farms: 


3,044 


Class I 


160 


n -- - 


1,137 


III 


1,050 


IV - 


506 


V - 


171 


VI - 


19 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total -- 


9,897 


Class I 


2,429 


II 


2.604 


in . .. 


2,301 


rv 


1,649 


V 


762 


VI -- -- 


251 







' Total of 7 livestock items listed in columns at right. 

2 Value of wool shorn. Practically all of the wool shorn was sold. 



< Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



Class III livestock farms, cattle sales accounted for 31.3 percent, 
while hogs accounted for 53.5 percent. Receipts from milk sold 
were relatively more important among the livestock and livestock 
products sold on cash-grain farms than on livestock farms. The 
same was true for chickens and eggs. 

The economic magnitude of the receipts from sales of livestock 
and livestock products on the different economic classes of farms 
is indicated by the total value of sales figures presented in table 78. 
The total value of livestock and livestock products sold on all 
commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 was 4.3 billion dollars. 
Receipts from cattle sales and hog sales each totaled about 1.7 
bUlion dollars. Sales from Class II and Class III farms accounted 
for more than half of the value of the total sales of livestock and 
livestock products by all economic classes of farms. The total 
sales from Class V and Class VI farms were a relatively very 
minor part of the total for all commercial farms. 

Although dairy production is a major entei prise on relatively 
few farms in the Corn Belt, receipts from the sale of milk and 
cream are fairly important on many farms. The total value of 
milk and cream sold on all commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 
1954 was approximately 552 million dollars (table 79). Whole 
milk accounted for three-fourths and cream accounted for one- 
fourth of this total. Whole milk made up the largest proportion 
of milk and cream sales in the Eastern Corn Belt (97 percent), 
and the smallest proportion in the Western Corn Belt (47.1 
piercent). On livestock farms in the Western Corn Belt, 79.4 
percent of the total value of milk and cream sold was from cream. 
Most of the cream is sold on a butterfat basis to creameries and 
cream stations. Farms selling cream usually use the skim milk 
as feed for hogs or other livestock. 



Table 79. — Value of Whole Milk and Cream Sold on 
Principal Types of Commercial Farms in the Corn Belt 
and Component Regions : 1954 





Value (thousand dollars) 


Percentage distribution 
of value 


Region and type of farm 


Total 






Total 








milk 
and 


Whole 
milk 


Cream 
sold 


milk 
and 


Whole 
milk 


Cream 
sold 




cream 


sold 


cream 


sold 




sold 






sold 






Total Corn Belt: 














All commercial farms. 


552, 161 


416, 598 


136, 662 


100.0 


75.4 


24.6 


Cash-grain farms- 


83. 468 


60, 102 


23, 366 


100.0 


72.0 


28.0 


Livestock farms '. 


135. 036 


70, 039 


64, 996 


100.0 


51.9 


48.1 


Eastern Com Belt: 














All commercial farms 


153. 098 


148. 435 


4,663 


100.0 


97.0 


3.0 


Cash-grain farms 


26. 910 


26. 964 


946 


100.0 


96.6 


3.5 


Livestock farms ^ 


23,370 


22. 024 


1.346 


100.0 


94.2 


6.8 


Central Com Belt: 














All commercial farms 


93,118 


57. 895 


36,223 


100.0 


62.2 


37.8 


Cash-grain farms 


22. 849 


16.429 


6,419 


100.0 


71.9 


28.1 


Livestock farms ' _ 


31,574 


12.990 


18, 684 


100.0 


41.1 


58.9 


Northern Corn Belt: 














All commercial farms 


147,989 


110, 705 


37, 283 


100.0 


74.8 


25.2 


Cash-grain farms 


12, 662 


7,747 


4,815 


100.0 


61.7 


38.3 


Livestock farms ' 


39,788 


23,334 


16,461 


100.0 


68.6 


41.4 


Western Corn Belt: 














All commercial farms 


81, 148 


38. 201 


42. 947 


100.0 


47.1 


62.9 


Cash-grain farms 


13, 276 


4.017 


9. 259 


100.0 


30.3 


69.7 


Livestock farms ' 


26,443 


5,460 


20, 983 


100.0 


20.6 


79.4 


Southern Corn Belt: 














All commercial farms 


76, 809 


61,362 


15,447 


100.0 


79.9 


20.1 


Casli-grain farms 


7,871 


6,944 


1,927 


100.0 


76.6 


24.5 


Livestock farms '. 


13, 861 


6,231 


7,630 


100.0 


45.0 


55.0 



I Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 
GROSS SALES AND INCOME 



57 



In summarizing the data on value of farm products sold on tlie 
various types and economic classes of commercial farms in the 
Corn Belt, it is helpful to reduce the figures to a per farm basis. 
This has been done in tables 80, 81, and 82. In this form it is 
relatively easy to compare the gross incomes on the different 
kinds of farms and to see the proportion that each group of 
products contributes to the total gross income from products sold. 
It should be observed, however, that the gross income from farm 
products sold is not the same as the total gross farm income, 
because it does not include the value of farm products used in 
farm hou.seholds. 

It should be kept in mind that the figures in tables 80, 81, and 
82 are averages for all the farms in each group and that the value 
of products sold on individual farms may, and does, vary con- 
siderably from these averages. For example, the average value 
of livestock and livestock products sold per farm on cash-grain 
farms is relatively low partly because many cash-grain farms sold 
little or no livestock or livestock products. Likewise, the average 
value of crops sold per livestock farm is relatively low partly 
because many livestock farms had little or no income from crops 
sold. The value of forest products per farm is very low largely 
because forest products were reported as sold on relatively few 
farms in 1054. Nevertheless, the average values provide a useful 
basis for comparison of receipts from products sold on the different 
groups of farms. 

The average value of all farm products sold by commercial 
farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 was $8,602 per farm (table 80). 
Crops sold accounted for an aveiage of $3,110 per farm, or 36.2 
percent of the total. Livestock and livestock products sold 
averaged $5,487 per farm, or 63.8 percent of the total. 



The largest average gross incomes per farm were obtained by 
farms in the Central Corn Belt ($11,531). The lowest average 
gross incomes per farm were in the Southern Corn Belt ($5,496). 
Gross incomes on livestock farms averaged higher than those on 
cash-grain farms and those on all commercial farms in every region 
of the Corn Belt. Sales of crops made up the largest proportion of 
tlie total value of products sold on cash-grain farms in the Central 
Corn Belt (77.7 percent). Livestock sales were relatively most 
important on livestock farms in the Northern Corn Belt. 

The average gross income from farm products sold on Class I 
cash-grain farms was $34,428 (table 81). This was more than 4 
times as great as the average for all cash-grain farms. Class III 
cash-grain farms, the largest group of cash-grain farms in terms of 
number of farms included, had an average gross income of $7,312 
from farm products sold. The total value of farm products sold 
on Class VI cash-grain farms was only slightly more than a tenth 
of that on the Class III cash-grain farms. 

The largest average gross income from farm products sold by 
any group of farms in the Corn Belt was obtained by Class 
I livestock farms ($47,410). Class III farms, the most numerous 
among the livestock farms, averaged $7,387 for all farm products 
sold. Again, the Class VI farms sold only a little more than a 
tenth as much value of farm products as did Class III farms. 

The gross sales on Classes IV, V, and VI cash-grain farms were 
almost identical to those on the corresponding classes of livestock 
farms. This came about largely, of course, because of the income 
criteria of classification. But the gross sales on Class I and Class II 
livestock farms were significantly larger than the gross sales on the 
corresponding classes of cash-grain farm.s. 



T,-\BLE 80. — Average Value of Farm Products Sold, and Percentage Composition, for Principal Types of Farms in the Corn 

Belt and Component Regions: 1954 





Average value per farm (dollars) 


Percentage composition of value 


Region and type of farm 


All farm 

products 

sold 


All crops 
sold 


Livestock 
and live- 
stock prod- 
ucts sold 


Forest 

products 

sold 


All farm 

products 

sold 


All crops 
sold 


Livestock 
and live- 
stock prod- 
ucts sold 


Forest 

products 

sold 


Total Com Belt: 

All commercial farms. , 


8.602 
7.843 
10, 402 

7,828 
7,203 
9,610 

11,531 
10. 475 
13, 484 

9,039 
7,937 
10, 989 

9,068 
7,221 
11,373 

5,496 
6,301 
6,271 


3,110 
5,963 
1,374 

3.498 
5,668 
1,763 

4,599 
8,140 
1,815 

2,527 
6,629 
1,080 

2,797 
5,414 
1,270 

1,858 

3,962 

949 


5.487 
1.877 
9,025 

4,324 
1,631 
7,841 

6,929 
2,333 
11,667 

6,609 
2,308 
9,907 

6,270 

1,806 

10, 102 

3,631 
1,333 
5,317 


4 
3 
3 

7 
4 
6 

2 
2 

3 

(Z) 
3 

1 
1 
1 

7 
6 
4 


100,0 
100,0 
100,0 

100,0 
100,0 
100,0 

100.0 
100,0 
100 

100.0 
100 
100.0 

100 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
lOo 

100.0 


36.2 
76.0 
13.2 

44.7 
77 3 
18.3 

39,9 
77.7 
13.6 

28.0 
70.9 
9.8 

30.8 
75.0 
11.2 

33.8 
74.7 
15.1 


63.8 
23.9 
86.8 

55.2 
22.6 
81.6 

CO.l 
22 3 
86.6 

72 
29 1 
90 2 

69.1 
25.0 
88.8 

66.1 
25. 1 
84.8 


(Z) 




(Z) 


Livestocli farms ' 


(Z) 


Eastern Corn Belt: 


0.1 


Cash-gram farms 


1 


Livestock farms •. 


1 


Central Corn Belt: 


(Z) 




(Z) 


Livestock farms K 


(Z) 


Northern Com Belt: 


(Z) 


Cash-gram farms 


(Z) 


Livestock farms L 


(Z) 
(Z) 


Western Com Belt: 


Cash-grain farms . 


(Z) 




(Z) 


Southem Com Belt: 

All commercial farms _ 


0.1 


Cash-grain farms.. 


1 




0.1 







Z Less than 0.50 or less than 0.05 percent. 

1 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



58 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Table 81. — Average Value of Farm Products Sold, by 
Economic Class of Farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 





Average value per farm (dollars) 


Type and economic class of farm 


All farm 

products 

sold 


All 
crops 
sold 


Livestock 
and live- 
stock prod- 
ucts sold 


Forest 

products 

sold 




8,602 

7,843 

34,428 

14,209 

7,312 

3,841 

1,919 

790 

10, 402 

47, 410 

15, 250 

7,387 

3,844 

1,911 

791 


3,110 

5,963 

26, 753 

10, 884 

5,430 

2,921 

1,527 

665 

1,374 

4,425 

2,423 

1,112 

480 

188 

69 


5,487 

1,877 

7,662 

3,321 

1,880 

918 

389 

141 

9,026 
42, 979 
12, 824 
6,272 
3,361 
1,721 
721 


4 


Cash-^ain farms: 
Total 


3 


Class I 


14 


II 


3 


III 


2 


IV - 


3 


V 


2 


VI -. 

Livestock farms: ' 

Total - 

Class I. 


1 

3 

6 


II 

Ill 

IV -- 


3 
3 
3 


V. 


3 


VI -- 


1 







I Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



The proportion of receipts from crops and from livestock and 
livestooli products sold showed relatively little variation from class 
to class among either the cash-grain farms or the livestock farms 
(table 82). The widest difference among classes of cash-grain farms 
was 8 percent, comparing Class 111 with Class VI. The widest 



difference between livestock farms was 7 percent, comparing 
Class II with Class VI. These differences in source of income 
are relatively insignificant when compared with the differences 
in levels of income. 



Table 82. — Percentage Composition of Value of Farm 
Products Sold on Commerci.'^l Farms in the Corn Belt: 
1954 



Type and economic class of farm 


Total value 

of farm 

products 

sold 


Value of 

all 

crops 

sold 


Value of 
livestock 
and live- 
stock prod- 
ucts sold 


Value of 
forest 

products 
sold 


AU commercial farms 

Cash-gi-ain farms: 

Total -. 


Percent 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 


Percent 
36.2 

76.0 
77.7 
76.6 
74.3 
76.0 
79.6 
82.3 

13.2 
9.3 
15.9 
15.0 
12.5 
9.8 
8.8 


Percent 
63.8 

23.9 
22.3 
23.4 
25.7 
23.9 
20.3 
17.7 

86.8 
90.7 
84.1 
84.8 
87.4 
90.0 
91.1 


Percent 
(Z) 

(Z) 


Class I 


z 


II 


(Z) 


III 


(Z) 


IV.... 

V 


0.1 
0.1 


VI .. 

Livestock farms; ' 
Total 


0.1 
(Z) 


ClassI 


(Z) 


II 


(Z) 


III 


(Z) 


IV 


0.1 


V 


0.1 


VI 


0.1 



Z 0.05 percent or less. 

1 Livestock other tban dairy and poultry farms. 



CASH'GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



59 



SPECIFIED EXPENSES 



In the 1954 Census of Agriculture information was obtained on 
expenditures for machine hire, hired labor, feed for livestock and 
l)Oultry, gasoline and other petroleum fuel and oil, commercial 
fertilizer and fertilizing material, and lime and liming material. 
These items account for a major share of the cash expenses on most 
farms (5). It is estimated that, in general, the specified expenses 
account for approximately two-thirds of all the farm expenses on 
Corn Belt farms, exclusive of land rent, interest on capital invest- 
ment, and depreciation of buildings, machinery, and equipment. 

Every farm did not have expenditures for each of the items 
covered by the Census inquiry. The proportion of commercial 
farms reporting specified expenditures by region and type of farm 
in the Corn Belt is shown in table 83. 

About 70 percent of all the commercial farms reported expendi- 
tures for machine hire. This item included customwork .such as 
tractor hire, combining, threshing, silo filling, baling, plowing, and 
spraying. Farms reporting machine hire were relatively most 
numerous in the Northern Corn Belt (75.3 percent), and relatively 
least numerous in the Eastern Corn Belt (65.1 percent). 

Expenditures for hired labor were reported on 51.8 percent of the 
commercial farms in the Corn Belt. Almost half the farms used 
no hired help. The Central Corn Belt had the largest percentage 
of farms using hired labor (55.5 percent), and the Southern Corn 
Belt had the smallest proportion (47 percent). Hired labor was 
used by a larger proportion of the livestock farms than of the 
cash-grain farms in every region. 

Expenditures for feed for livestock and poultry were reported on 
89.2 percent of the commercial farms. This was a larger propor- 
tion of the farms than those reporting any other specified expense 
except for gasoline and oil. Items included under feed expendi- 
tures were grain, hay, mill feeds, concentrates and roughages 
purchased, and payments for grinding and mixing feed. The 
largest percentage of farms reporting expenditures for feed was in 
the Northern Corn Belt (91.6 percent), and the smallest percentage 
was in the Eastern Corn Belt (85.2 percent). A considerably 
larger proportion of livestock farmers than of cash-grain farmers 
reported expenditures for feed. For example, in the Eastern Corn 
Belt, 94.7 percent of the livestock farmers and 73.6 percent of the 
cash-grain farmers reported this expense. 

Expenditures for gasoline and other petroleum fuel and oil for 
the farm business were reported by 92.2 percent of the commercial 
farms. The highest proportions of farms reporting this item were 
in the Northern, Western, and Central Corn Belt. This item was 
reported somewhat more frequently on cash-grain farms than on 
livestock farms in every region, reflecting the generally more 
complete degree of mechanization on the cash-grain farms. 
Farmers who did not report expenditures for gasoline and oil 
apparently were mainly those who use horse and mule power 
exclusively and those who hired tractors or custom operators to do 
all their field work. 

Commercial fertilizer or fertilizing materials were bought by 
about two-thirds of all the commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 
1954. The highest percentage of farms reporting expenditures for 
fertilizer was in the Eastern Corn Belt (88.1 percent), and the 
smallest percentage was among farms in the Western Corn Belt 
(50.2 percent). In the Eastern, Southern, and Central Corn 
Belt, the proportion of cash-grain farms reporting expenditures for 
fertilizer was larger than the proportion of livestock farms reporting 
fertilizer expenditures, but the opposite was true in the other two 
regions. 



Expenditures for lime and liming material were reported by 
about a fifth of the conimercial farms. Lime expenditures were 
reported relatively most frequently among farmers in the Southern 
and Eastern Corn Belt, and relatively least frequently among 
farmers in the Western Corn Belt. The percentage of farms re- 
porting expenditures for lime generally varied considerably more 
between regions than between types of farms within regions. 



T.'VBLE 83. — Percent of Commercial Farms Reporting 
Specified Expenditures, by Type of Farm, in the Corn Belt 
AND Component Regions: 1954 





Specified farm expenditures 


Uegion and type of farm 


Ma- 
cliine 
hire 


Hired 
labor 


Feed 


Gaso- 
line and 
oil 


Com- 
mercial 
ferti- 
lizer 


Lime 
and 
liming 
mate- 
rial 


Total Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms ... 

C:ish-srain farms... 

Livestock farms ' 


Percent 
69.7 
69.7 
70.3 

65.1 
66.1 
64.8 

70.3 
71.7 
69.5 

75.3 
74.2 
74.9 

72.6 
74.2 
72.3 

67.0 
63.0 
69.7 


Percent 
61.8 
49.8 
56.0 

51.1 
47.8 
66.0 

65.6 
54.1 
68.9 

62.9 
49.4 
68.1 

62.7 
61.4 
65.9 

47.0 
43.5 
62 1 


Percent 
89.2 
78.4 
96.7 

85,2 
73.6 
94.7 

90.1 
81.7 
96.8 

91.6 
79.7 
%.3 

90.1 
79.8 
95.8 

90.0 
78.2 
94.7 


Percent 
92.2 
95.1 
91.8 

89.3 
93.2 
88.1 

94.1 
95.7 
94.2 

96 7 
97.0 
96.8 

94.3 
96.8 
93.8 

88.4 
93.7 

87.2 


Percent 
66.6 
68.8 
65.4 

88.1 
92.7 
86.9 

61.3 
64.4 
61.2 

63.9 
54.3 
71.6 

60.2 
49.3 

52,6 

68.8 
74.4 
67.2 


Percent 
19.0 
17,8 
20.9 


Eastern Corn Bolt: 

.\U commercial farms 


26. 1 


Cash-graln farms 

Livestock farms ' 


24.4 
31.6 


Central Com Belt: 


20.1 


Cash-grain farms. . _ 


20.1 
22.2 


Northern Com Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms ' 

Western Cora Belt: 

All commercial farms 


13.9 
6.5 
18.7 

7.7 




6.4 


Livestock farms ' 


8.7 


Southern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms. 


26.8 
27.0 
28.7 







' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

Machine hire was reported somewhat more frequently among 
Class II and Class III farms than among the higher and lower 
economic classes of farms (table 84). Hired labor was reported 
relatively most frequenti}' among the higher economic classes, 
ranging among the cash-grain farms, for example, from 88.8 per- 
cent of the Class I farms down to 18.2 percent of the Class VI 
farms. Expenditures for feed also were generally reported rela- 
tively more frequently among the upper economic classes of farms, 
but the range in frequency of farms reporting was greater among 
cash-grain farms than among livestock farms. Even among the 
Class VI livestock farms, 87.5 percent reported expenditures for 
feed. Gasoline and oil purchases were reported by nearly all 
Classes I, II, and III farms and by 60 to 75 percent of Class VI 
farms. 

Commercial fertilizer and lime also were reported relatively 
more frequently by the upper economic classes of farms. Among 
cash-grain farms, for example, the range from Class I to Class VI 
farms in percentage of farms reporting expenditures for fertilizer 
was from 88.4 percent down to 48 percent. For lime on livestock 
farms, the percentage of farms reporting ranged from 30.9 percent 
of the Class I farms down to 9.7 percent of the Class VI farms. 



60 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Table 84. — Percent of Commercial Farms Reporting 
Specified Expenditures, tn the Corn Belt: 1954 





Specified farm expenditures 


Type and economic class of farm 


Ma- 
cliine 
hire 


Hired 
labor 


Feed 


Gaso- 
line and 
oU 


Com- 
mercial 
ferti- 
lizer 


Lime 
and 
liming 
mate- 
rial 


All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms: 
Total 


Percent 
69.7 

69.7 
67.0 
70.7 
71.1 
69.7 
68.2 
58.9 

70.3 
70.6 
73.0 
74.1 
71.8 
64.2 
45.6 


Percent 
61.8 

49.8 
88.8 
68.8 
62.0 
39.6 
29.6 
18.2 

66.0 
87.0 
70.8 
57.4 
47.6 
34.7 
21.6 


Percent 
89.2 

78.4 
84.1 
86.3 
83.7 
74.4 
63.3 
64.8 

95.7 
98.3 
97.7 
96.9 
95.2 
91.8 
87.5 


Percent 
92.2 

95.1 
97.5 
97.8 
97.4 
96.2 
89.6 
74.6 

91.8 
98.0 
97.6 
96.8 
91.8 
79.7 
69.9 


Percent 
66.5 

68.8 
88.4 
80.9 
69.0 
62.2 
60.8 
48.0 

65.4 
84.9 
80.2 
69.0 
66.8 
45.6 
31.0 


Percent 
19.0 

17.8 


Class I -- 


34.7 


II 


23.8 


III 


17.0 


IV 


14.8 


V 


13.9 


VI - 


9.7 


Livestocli farms: ' 

Total.... ... 

Class I 


20.9 
30.9 


n 


25.9 


III 

IV 

V 


21.4 
17.6 
14.2 


VI 


9.7 



' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

Feed was the largest item of expenditure per commercial farm 
reporting (table 85). This was true for all commercial farms and 
for practically every economic class of cash-grain and livestock 
farms. Among the 89.2 percent of the commercial farms buying 
feed, the average expenditure for feed in 1954 was $1,510. On 
cash-grain farms, this expenditure averaged $2,13-1 on Class I 
farms, $1,120 on Class II farms, $696 on Class III farms, and $193 
on Class VI farms. On livestock farms the average expenditure 
for feed, by the 95.7 percent of the farmers who reported this 
expenditure, was $2,117. On Class I livestock farms the average 
amount spent for feed was $9,458. From this rather tidy sum, 
the average expenditures ranged downward to $2,855 on Class II 
farms, and to $293 on Class VI farms. A large part of the expend- 
iture for feed by farmers in the Corn Belt is for oil meal, such as 
soybean meal or linseed meal, and for commercially mixed feeds, 
such as pig starter and poultry laying mash. 

Table 85. — Average Expenditure Per Commercial Farm 
Reporting Each Specified Expense in the Corn Belt: 1954 





Specified farm expenditures (dollars) 


Type and economic class of farm 


Ma- 
chine 
hire 


Hired 
labor 


Feed 


Gaso- 
line and 
oU 


Com- 
mercial 
ferti- 
lizer 


Lime 
and 
liming 
mate- 
rials 


All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms: 

Total.. 

Class I 

II.. 

ni 

IV 


242 

261 
676 
325 
263 
208 
159 
109 

250 
456 
301 
245 
202 
154 
108 


575 

476 
2,474 
663 
289 
195 
144 
95 

009 
2,166 
680 
334 
237 
164 
120 


1,610 

726 
2,134 
1,120 
696 
416 
279 
193 

2,117 

9,458 

2,855 

1,490 

893 

529 

293 


626 

674 
1,712 
868 
570 
381 
240 
157 

626 
1,175 
688 
490 
3,63 
230 
163 


489 

552 
2,192 
840 
465 
308 
211 
134 

498 
1,286 
616 
390 
273 
199 
147 


165 

188 
427 
233 
175 
133 


V 


103 


VI 


88 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total. 


168 


Class I 


325 


II 


195 


III. 


144 


IV... 


111 


V. 


100 


VI.... 


92 







' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



Hired labor was the second largest expenditure per farm report- 
ing. Only about half the farms used hired labor, but on farms 
where it was used, it was generally a substantial expense. Hired 
labor was used to the largest extent on the larger farms. On 
Class I cash-grain farms, the average wage bill per farm reporting 
was $2,474, and on Class I livestock farms it was $2,166. On 
Class II and smaller farms, however, the average expenditure for 
hired labor was one of the smallest expenditure items reported. 

Gasoline and oil constituted the third largest item of expenditure 
per farm reporting. This item averaged $574 on cash-grain farms 
and S526 on livestock farms. The range in size of the gasoline 
and oil bill per farm reporting among cash-grain farms was from 
S157 on Class VI farms up to SI, 712 on Class I farms. Class 
for class, the average expenditure for gas and oil was smaller on 
livestock farms than on cash-grain farms. 

The average expenditure for commercial fertilizer per farm re- 
porting ranged from $2,192 down to $134 on the economic classes 
of cash-grain farms, and from $1,286 down to -$147 on the economic 
classes of livestock farms. Expenditures for lime and liming 
material averaged smaller than any other specified expenses 
reported. The range on cash-grain farms was from $427 on Class 
I farms to $88 on Class VI farms. 

The average bill for machine hire among the 69.7 percent of the 
farmers who reported this item was $242. The size of this ex- 
penditure ran slightly lower on the livestock farms than it did on 
the corresponding classes of cash-grain farms. 

The total amount of the 6 specified expenses on all commercial 
farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 was 2.1 billion dollars (table 86). 
About half of this was spent by livestock farmers, and about a 
fourth by cash-grain farmers. More than half of the expenditures 
among both cash-grain and livestock farms were made by the 
Class II and Class III farms. Expenditures for feed reached 
almost 1.1 billion dollars, or approximately half of the total speci- 
fied expenditures. On cash-grain farms, the expenditure for feed 
was only slightly greater than the expenditure for gasoline and oil, 
but on livestock farms the expenditure for feed was relatively much 
greater. On all economic classes of farms except Class I, the total 
expense for commercial fertilizer was greater than the total expense 
for hired labor. 

Table '86. — Total Specified Expenditures on Commercial 
Farms in the Corn Belt: 1954 





Specified farm expenditures (thousand dollars) 


Type and economic 
class of farm 


Total 


Ma- 
chine 
hire 


Hired 
labor 


Feed 


Gaso- 
line 
and oil 


Com- 
mercial 
ferti- 
lizer 


Lime 

and 

liming 

mate- 
rial 


All commercial 
farms 

Cash-grain farms: 
Total 

Class I 

II ... 

Ill . - 


2,116,746 

613, 060 
52, 824 
200,043 
163, 906 
68,643 
23,289 
3,756 

1,106,354 
314, 408 
393, 190 
244,907 
107, 655 
37, 167 
9,027 


134, 543 

46, 254 
2,606 
14, 250 
16, 196 
8,986 
3,682 
636 

57, 446 
7,321 
18, 342 
17, 168 
9,721 
3,964 
930 


237, 679 

62. 471 
14,264 
28,272 
13. 531 
4,785 
1,447 
173 

111, 498 

42.812 

40,249 

18, 120 

7,651 

2,279 

488 


1, 073, 633 

160,381 
11,669 
69, 937 
62, 505 
19,232 
6,995 
1,064 

661,732 

211,060 

233.017 

136, 464 

66, 946 

19, 408 

4,848 


386, 662 

144, 670 
10, 851 
52, 646 
50, 068 
22, 524 
7,313 
1,168 

157, 793 
26,144 
66, 064 
44,804 
21, 739 
7,322 
1,731 


269, 213 

100, 621 
12, 582 
42, 111 
28,928 
11,895 
4,366 
640 

106, 420 

24, 801 
41,301 

25, 443 
10, 388 

3,625 
862 


26,026 

8,862 

963 

3,428 

2,678 


IV. 


1,222 


V 


486 


VI 


85 


Livestock farms: ' 
Total 


11,464 


Class I... 

II 


2,281 
4,227 


III 

IV 


2,908 
1,310 


V 


569 


VI 


169 







' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



61 



The relative importance or magnitude of different items among 
the specified expenses was not the same on all economic classes of 
farms. Among cash-grain farms, the item accounting for the 
largest percentage of the total specified expenses was hired labor 
on Class I farms, feed on Class II and Class III farms, and gasoline 
and oil on Classes IV, V, and VI farms (table 87). Among live- 
stock farms, feed accounted for the largest percentage of the spec- 
ified expenditures on all economic classes of farms. Expenditures 
for machine hire and for fuel were larger percentages of the total 
on the lower economic classes than on the higher economic classes 
of farms, while expenditures for hired labor were larger percent- 
ages of the total on the higher economic classes. 



Table 87- — Percentage Composition of Total Specified 
Expenditures on Commercial Farms, by Economic Class, 
IN THE Corn Belt: 1954 





Percentage composition of specified farm expenditm*es 


Type and economic 
class of farm 


Total 


Ma- 
chine 
hire 


Hu-ed 
labor 


Feed 


Gaso- 
line 
and oil 


Com- 
mercial 
ferti- 
lizer 


Lime 

and 

liming 

mate- 
rial 


All commercial 


100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 

100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 
100.0 


6.4 

9.0 
4.7 
7. 1 
9.9 
13.1 
15.8 
16.9 

5.2 
2.3 
4.7 
7.0 
9.0 
10.7 
10.3 


11.2 

12.2 
27.0 
14.1 
8.3 
7.0 
6.2 
4.6 

10.1 
13.6 
10.2 
7.4 
7.0 
6.1 
.5.4 


50.7 

29.3 
22.1 
29.9 
32.0 
28.0 
25.7 
28.1 

59.8 
67.1 
59. 3 
55.7 
52.9 
52.2 
63.7 


18.2 

28.2 
20.5 
26.2 
30.5 
32.8 
31.4 
31.1 

14.3 
8.3 
14.3 

18.3 
20.2 
19.7 
19.2 


12.3 

19.6 
23.8 
21.0 
17.6 
17.3 
18.7 
17.0 

9.6 
7.9 
10.5 
10.4 
9.6 
9.8 
9.6 


1.2 


Cash-grain farms: 
Total - 


1.7 


Class I 

II 


1.8 
1.7 


ni. 


1 6 


IV 


1.8 


V. 


2 1 


VI 


2.3 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total 

Class I 

II 


1.0 
0.7 
1. 1 


Ill 


1.2 


rv.... 

V. 


1.2 

1.5 


VI. 


1.9 











1 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



The total specified expenditures per commercial farm in 1954 
are shown by economic class of farm for each region of the Corn 
Belt in table 88. The average for all commercial farms was 
$2,654. The largest average expenditure per commercial farm 
for the specified items was in the Central Corn Belt ($3,230). 
The Western Corn Belt ranked second with an average total 
expenditure per farm of $2,703. The largest average expenditure 
for any group of farms was $16,324 on Class I farms in the Southern 
Corn Belt. Average expenditures on Class II and Class III 
farms, which are rather typical of much of the Corn Belt, were 
between $1,700 and $3,800 for cash-grain farms in the various 
regions, and between $2,300 and $5,400 for livestock farms. 



Table 88. — Average of Total Specified Expenditures Per 
Commercial Farm in the Corn Belt and Component 
Regions: 1954 



Type and economic class of 
farm 


Com 
Belt, 
total 


Eastern 
Corn 
Belt 


Central 
Cora 
Belt 


North- 
ern 
Com 
Belt 


Western 
Com 
Belt 


South- 
era 

Cora 
Belt 


All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms: 

Total 

Class I 

II 


Dollars 
2,654 

1,939 
8,132 
3,236 
1,819 
1,106 
686 
378 

3.387 
13, 846 
4,706 
2,691 
1,607 
929 
478 


Dollars 
2,582 

1,927 
9,407 
3,489 
1,935 
1,098 
654 
326 

3.412 

13,647 

5,068 

2,766 

1,647 

892 

478 


Dollars 
3,230 

2,372 
7,608 
3,136 
1,754 
1,053 
647 
392 

4,125 

12, 238 

4,606 

2,623 

1,683 

923 

461 


Dollars 
2,697 

1,881 
7,339 
3,097 
1,749 
1,076 
612 
348 

3,161 

11,347 

4, 143 

2,362 

1, 616 

890 

466 


Dollars 
2,703 

1,696 
7,659 
3,061 
1,706 
1,047 
666 
341 

3,593 
16, 177 
4,638 
2,503 
1,688 
943 
616 


Dollars 
2,101 

1,621 
9,284 
3,711 
2,061 
1 261 


Ill 


IV... 


V . . 


775 


VI 


436 


Livestock farms; ' 

Total - 

Class I 

II 

Ill 

IV.. 

V . 


2,484 
16,324 
6,365 
2,759 
1,602 
948 


VI. 


466 







' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

Information was not obtained in the 1954 Census on 
expenditures for livestock and poultry purchased. This expense 
item is relatively important on many Corn Belt farms, especially 
on those farms where feeder cattle and feeder sheep are sizable 
enterprises. Information obtained on this item in the 1950 
Census showed that it was somewhat larger than the expenditures 
for feed purchased in the Corn Belt as a whole. The distribution 
of expenditures for livestock and poultry bought on farms in the 
United States in 1949 is shown in figure 36. The concentration 
of expenditures for livestock purchases was relatively heavy in the 
Corn Belt, and especially in parts of the Western and Central 
Corn Belt. 



EXPENDITURES FOR LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY PURCHASED 
DOLLARS. 1949 




Figure 36. 



62 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



INVESTlvIENT COST 



Total capital investment on Corn Belt farms has been discussed 
above. It has been noted, for example, that tlu.- average value of 
investment on all commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 was 
about $44,000 and that the range in average value of investment 
among economic classes of farms was from about $10,000 up to 
almost $200,000 (table 31). 

Capital is not available without cost. The cost of capital may 
be in the form of interest charges on money borrowed, interest 
payments on a mortgage or on indebtedness for machinery or 
equipment, or it may be an interest rate determined by the alterna- 
tive opportunities of investment. 

Estimated interest charges for capital investment per commercial 
farm, by major category of investment, and by type of farm in the 
different regions in the Corn Belt are given in table 89. These 
interest charges have been computed by using an interest rate of 
5 percent for the investment in land and buildings, and an interest 
rate of 7 percent for the investment in machinery, equipment, and 
livestock. Because of the large investment frequently found on 
Corn Belt farms it is interesting to note the estimated charges, at 
prevailing interest rates, represented by these capital investments. 

The relatively large interest charge for investment in land and 
buildings indicates the cost of land ownership and helps to explain 



Table 89. — Estimated Interest Charge for Capital Invest' 
MENT Per Commercial Farm, by Major Categories of 
Investment, by Type of Farm, in the Corn Belt .and Com- 
ponent Regions: 1954 



Region and type of farm 


Total cap- 
ital invest- 
ment 


Land and 
buildings i 


Machtaery 
and equip- 
ment 2 


Livestock - 


Total Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 


Dollars 
2,416 
2,614 
2,615 

2,218 
2,288 
2, 666 

3,402 
3,810 
3,380 

2,276 
2,235 
2,567 

2,477 
2,370 
2,769 

1,611 
1,747 
1,721 


Dollars 
1,677 
1,997 
1,688 

1,586 

^ 1,735 

1,736 

2,546 
3,105 
2,281 

1,443 

1,679 
1,631 

1,667 
1,736 
1,758 

1,026 
L223 
1,050 


Dollars 
419 
448 
442 

414 
433 
447 

469 
503 
512 

448 
464 
482 

424 
438 
448 

346 
385 
337 


Dollars 
320 


Cash-grain farms 


169 




486 


Eastern Corn Belt: 


218 


Cash-grain farms 


120 
373 


Central Corn Belt: 


387 


Cash-grain farms 


202 

687 


Northern Corn Belt: 
All commercial farms 


384 


Cash-grain farms 


192 


Livestock farms ^ 


564 


Western Com Belt: 


386 




196 




663 


Southern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 


239 


Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms 3 


139 
334 







' Interest charge at 5 percent. 
2 Interest charge at 7 percent. 
> Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



the high proportion of farmers who are part owners or tenants in 
the relatively high-priced land areas of the Corn Belt. To a 
tenant, the actual cost of investment in land is not in the form of a 
direct payment of interest, but it is a cost included in rents paid 
in the long run by tenants and part owners to their landlords. 

The estimated interest charge for total capital investment 
averaged $2,416 per commercial farm in the Corn Belt in 1954. 
It was highest (averaging $.3,810 per farm) on cash-grain farms in 
the Central Corn Belt. It was relatively the lowest on commercial 
farms in the Southern Corn Belt, where it averaged $1,611 per 
farm. The estimated interest charge for investment in land and 
buildings averaged $1,677 for all commercial farms in the Corn 
Belt, while the average interest on investment in machinery and 
equipment was $419 and the average interest on investment in 
livestock averaged $320 per commercial farm. 

The estimated average charges for interest on the various 
economic classes of cash-grain and livestock farms in the Corn 
Belt are shown in table 90. Interest on the total investment was 
highest on Economic Class I cash-grain farms, averaging $9,011 
per farm. On Economic Class I livestock farms it was $6,711. 
Total interest, as well as the interest charge in each category of 
investment, is progressively lower as we go from Economic Class 
I farms to Economic Class VI farms. The interest on investment 
in land and buildings was $7,495 per farm on Class I cash-grain 
farms, but only $442 on Class VI cash-grain farms. The estimated 
interest charge on machinery and equipment averaged $1,052 on 
Class I cash-grain farms, but only $168 on Class VI cash-grain 
farms. On livestock farms, the average interest charge for 
investment in livestock per farm ranged from $1,395 on Economic 
Class I farms down to $109 on Class VI farms. 

Table 90. — Estimated Interest Charge for Capital Invest- 
MENT Per Farm, by Major Categories of Investment, by 
Type and Economic Class of Farm, in The Corn Belt: 1954 



Type and economic class of farm 


Total cap- 
ital invest- 
ment 


Land and 
buildings 1 


Machinery 
and equip- 
ment 2 


Livestock ' 


All commercial farms- 

Cash-grain farms: 

Total 


Dollars 
2,416 

2,614 
9,011 
4,322 
2,512 
1,576 
1,005 
646 

2,616 
6,711 
3,738 
2,396 
1,610 
1,041 
649 


Dollars 
1,677 

1,997 
7,495 
3,430 
1,879 
1,121 
688 
442 

1,688 

4,422 

2, 482 

1, 622 

985 

628 

396 


Dollars 
419 

448 
1,062 
631 
464 
343 
256 
168 

442 
894 
594 
434 
322 
228 
144 


Dollars 
320 

169 


Class I 


464 


II.... 


261 


III ... 


179 


IV 


111 


V . . . 


61 


VI 


36 


Livestock farms: • 

Total 


485 


Class I... 


1,396 


II 


662 


Ill 


440 


IV 


303 


V 


185 


VI 


108 







' Interest charge at 5 percent. 
2 Interest charge at 7 percent. 
' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



63 



INDICATORS OF FARM EFFICIENCY 



Efficiency of farm operations is reflected in the returns or output 
obtained in relation to the quantity or value of inputs used. 
Farming inputs may be grouped under the broad categories of 
land, labor, operating capital, and management. Operating 
capital includes investments in machinery, equipment, and live- 
stock, and current expenditures for items such as gasoline and 
oil, machine hire, seed, feed, and fertilizer. Investment in land 
and buildings is also a capital input, but because of the basic role 
of land in agriculture and its spatial as well as productivity aspects, 
it is helpful in some phases of an analysis of farming to consider 
the land resources in terms of acreage as well as in terms of capital 
investment. Likewise, it is helpful in an examination of farming 
efficiency to make some analysis of output in relation to physical 
units of labor as well as in relation to the value of labor services (5) . 

One of the best measures of average resource productivity and 
efficiency is the relationship of total production to all resources 
used in farming. An overall output-input measure of that kind 
for the different types and economic classes of farms in the Corn 
Belt would require data on items in addition to those for which 
information was available in the present study. On the output 
side, data on value of farm products used in farm households 
would be necessary in addition to the value of all farm products 
sold. On the input side, data on various expenditures and costs 
in addition to those reported in the Census would be necessary. 
However, the available data do make possible a number of com- 
parisons of the intensity of resource use on the different types and 
economic classes of farms and the computation of some measures 
that indicate the relative efficiency of production on different 
economic classes of farms. Data providing some comparisons of 
resource use and some indications of relative efficiency for farms 
in the Corn Belt are presented in the following tables. 

PRODUCTION PER UNIT OF LAND 

The percentage of land in high return crops is a measure of 
intensity of cropping and it often is useful in explaining differences 
in economic returns of individual farms or groups of farms. In 
the Corn Belt the two most widely grown high return crops are 
corn and soybeans. The percentages of cropland occupied by 
each of these crops on farms in different regions of the Corn Belt 
in 1954 are shown in table 91. Groups of farms having a relatively 
high percentage of cropland in both of these crops are generally 
those showing the highest value of farm products sold per acre 
of cropland. The percentage of harvested cropland used for corn 
and soybeans is shown for each economic class of cash-grain and 
livestock farms in table 92. On cash-grain farms there was no 
consistent relationship between economic class and percent of 
cropland in corn. On livestock farms, however. Class I farms 
had the highest percentage of cropland in corn and the proportion 
of cropland in corn declined consistently from Class I to Class 
VI farms. The percentage of cropland in soybeans was highest 
on Class I farms and consistently less on each of the lower economic 
classes of farms. This was true on livestock farms as well as on 
cash-grain farms. 

The number of cattle and calves and of hogs and pigs per 100 
acres of land in farms indicate the relative intensity of production 
of these livestock (tables 91 and 92) . In the Corn Belt as a whole, 
livestock farms had more than twice as many cattle and more 



than 4 times as many hogs per 100 acres as did cash-grain farms. 
The average number of cattle and calves per 100 acres on live- 
stock farms was highest in the Central and Northern Corn Belt 
(22 head and 21 head, respectively), and lowest in the Southern 
Corn Belt (14 head). The Central Corn Belt had the largest 
number of hogs and pigs per 100 acres of farmland on both cash- 
grain and livestock farms as well as on all commercial farms. 
Livestock farms in the Central Corn Belt had an average of 56 
hogs and pigs per 100 acres of farmland compared with 21 on 
livestock farms in the Southern Corn Belt. The number of 
head of livestock per 100 acres of farmland was strongly corre- 
lated with economic class of farm on the livestock farms. Eco- 
nomic Class I livestock farms had an average of 28 cattle and 
calves per 100 acres, while Class VI livestock farms had only 12. 
The average number of hogs and pigs per 100 acres was 42 on 
Class I livestock farms and 11 on Class VI livestock farms. On 
cash-grain farms, all economic classes of farms had much fewer 
livestock per 100 acres than did livestock farms, and the differences 
between classes were less conspicuous. 

The number of hogs and pigs per 100 acres of cropland on hve- 
stock farms ranged from 60 on Economic Class I farms down to 
48 on Class III farms, and 25 on Class VI farms. On cash-grain 
farms, the Classes I, II, and III farms had 11 or 12 hogs and pigs 
per 100 acres of cropland, while the Class IV farms had 8, and the 
Class VI farms had only 4. 



Table 91. — Production of Corn, Soybeans, Cattle, and 
Hogs in Relation to Acreage of Farmland, by Type of 
Farm, in the Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 





Percent of total 
acres of cropland 
harvested 


Head of livestock 
per 100 acres of 
all land In farms 


Number 
of hogs 
and pigs 


Region and type of farm 


Com har- 
vested for 
grain 


Soybeans 
harvested 
for beans 


All cattle 

and 

calves 


All hogs 
and pigs 


per 100 
acres of 
cropland 


Total Com Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms- 

Livestock farms i.. 

Eastern Com Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farmS- 

Livestock farms ' 

Central Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Casli-grain farmS- 

Livestock farms ' 

Northern Com Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms ' 

Western Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms. 

Livestock farms ' 

Southern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms i 


37.7 
38.7 
39.0 

38.0 
39.1 
41.1 

43.6 
43. 1 
44.9 

33.2 
32.1 
36.6 

40.2 
41.3 
40.1 

27.7 
29.9 
28.7 


11.3 
18.3 
5.7 

16.0 
23.4 
9.5 

15.7 
23.8 
7.2 

9.8 
17.8 
4.9 

2.7 
4.3 
1.7 

16.9 
27.5 
9.9 


13 

8 

18 

12 
6 
16 

15 
8 
22 

15 

7 

21 

14 
8 
18 

12 
7 
14 


22 

8 
34 

23 
9 

48 

33 

12 
56 

27 
10 
42 

16 

5 

23 

14 
6 
21 


30 
11 
61 

30 
11 
62 

41 
14 
71 

36 
12 
58 

23 

7 
38 

23 
9 

38 



I Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



64 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Table 92. — Production of Corn, Soybeans, Cattle, and 
Hogs in Relation to Acreage of Farmland, by Type and 
Economic Class of Farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 



Type and economic class of fann 



All commercial farms. 

Cash-grain farms: 

Total 

Class I 

II 

III 

IV 

V 

VI 

Livestock farms: ' 

Total 

Class I 

II 

III 

rv 

V 

VI 



Percent 


of total 


Head of livestock 


acres of cropland 


per 100 acres of 


harvested 


all land in farms 


Com har- 


Soybeans 


All cattle 


All hogs 
and pigs 


vested for 


harvested 


and 


gram 


for beans 


calves 


37.7 


11.3 


13 


22 


38.7 


18.3 


8 


8 


40.5 


24.3 


8 


9 


39.3 


20.8 


8 


10 


38.0 


16.8 


8 


9 


37.9 


14.7 


7 


6 


39.1 


15.2 


6 


4 


42.2 


12.9 


5 


3 


39.0 


5.7 


18 


34 


41.1 


7.0 


28 


42 


40.1 


6.9 


18 


41 


38.3 


6.0 


16 


32 


36.6 


3.9 


15 


25 


36.9 


3.1 


14 


18 


36.1 


2.4 


12 


11 



Number 
of hogs 

and pigs 
per 100 
acres of 

cropland 



11 
II 
12 
11 



51 
60 
57 
48 
41 
34 
25 



J Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 

CAPITAL INPUTS AND PRODUCT OUTPUT PER ACRE 

Data on specified resource inputs and value of farm products 
sold in relation to land acreage are shown in tables 93 and 94. 
The highest value of all farm products sold per acre of land was 
found on farms in the Central and Eastern Corn Belt. These were 
also the regions where capital investment per acre and total speci- 



fied expenses per acre were relatively high. The relatively high 
value of land and buildings per acre contributed to the relatively 
high value of total investment per acre on farms in the Central and 
Eastern Corn Belt, but the investment in machinery and equip- 
ment per acre of cropland and the numVjer of tractors in relation 
to crop acres in these regions were also relatively high. Farms in 
the Southern Corn Belt had the relatively smallest investment in 
land and buildings, machinery, and livestock per acre, and they 
also had the lowest average value of farm products sold per acre 
of au}^ region in the Corn Belt. 

Total capital investment per acre of all land in farms ranged 
from an average of $277 on Class I cash-grain farms down to $142 
on Class VI cash-grain farms. Among livestock farms also, total 
capital investment per acre was only half as great on Class VI 
farms as on Class I farms, with investment per acre on the other 
economic classes ranging between these extremes. Total specified 
expenses per acre likewise were highest on the upper economic 
classes of farms, ranging on livestock farms, for example, from $29 
on Class I farms down to $5 on Class VI farms. It has been 
pointed out above that crop yields were highest on the upper 
economic classes and lowest on the lower economic classes of farms 
(table 59). 

The investment in machinery and equipment per acre of crop- 
land was lower on the upper economic classes than on the lower 
economic classes of farms. This comes about because the larger 
farms had more acres of cropland on which to use their machines 
so that the acreage per machine was larger. For example. Class 
I cash-grain farms had an average of 144 acres of cropland per 
tractor, while Class VI cash-grain farms had 65. In other words, 
the overhead cost of a set of farm machinery is greater on a per acre 
basis on small farms than on large farms. 



Table 93.- 



-Specified Resource Inputs and Value of Farm Products Sold in Relation to Land Acreage, by Type of Farm, in 

THE Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 



' Value of total investment In land, buildings, livestock, machinery, and equipment. 

2 Total of expenditures for machine hire, hired labor, feed bought, gasoline and other 
petroleum fuel and oil, commercial fertilizer and fertilizing material, and lime and 
liming material. 



3 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



Region and type of farm 


Capital Investment per 
acre of all land in farms 
(doUars) 


Total specLfled 

expenses per 

acre of all land 

in farms s 

(doUars) 


Acres of crop- 
land per tractor 


Investment In 
machinery and 
equipment per 
acre of crop- 
land (dollars) 


Value of all 
crops sold per 

acre of crop- 
land (dollars) 


Value of farm products sold per 
acre of all land In farms 
(doUars) 




Total 1 


Livestock, 

machinery, 

and equipment 


Livestock and 
livestock 
products 


All farm 
products 


Total Corn Belt: 


206 
216 
204 

266 
250 
285 

318 
333 
311 

198 
178 
217 

157 
148 
163 

134 
137 
132 


49 
39 

57 

59 
46 
72 

62 
47 
80 

58 
41 
71 

40 
31 

47 

39 
32 
41 


12 
9 
15 

17 
11 
21 

16 
11 
21 

13 

8 
15 

9 
6 
12 

10 

7 

11 


92 
101 
91 

72 
79 
73 

85 
94 
80 

87 
103 
83 

116 
134 
110 

98 
107 
99 


39 
36 
41 

49 
45 
61 

41 
38 
47 

41 
35 

46 

32 
28 
34 

38 
33 
38 


20 

33 

9 

29 
40 
14 

28 
43 
12 

16 
29 

7 

15 
24 

7 

14 
24 

7 


26 

8 

39 

28 
10 

48 

35 
11 
59 

32 
10 

47 

22 

6 

33 

17 
6 
23 


40 


Cash-grain farms 


35 




45 


Eastern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms . . 


51 




42 


Livestock farms 3._ 


69 


Central Corn Belt: 


68 


Cash-grain farms 


48 




68 


Northern Com Belt: 

All commercial farms _ 


44 




34 


Livestock farms 3., 


62 


Western Com Belt: 

All commercial farms. 


32 




24 


Livestock farms 3. . 


37 


Southern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 


26 


Cash-grain farms 


23 


Livestock farms'... 


27 







CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



65 



The value of crops sold per acre of cropland and the value of all 
farm products sold per acre of all land ranged from highest on 
Class I farms to lowest on Class VI farms. On livestock farms, 
the average value of all farm products sold per acre of all land 
was $100 on Class I farms, $32 on Class III farms, and $8 on Class 
VI farms. 

For all commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 the average 



value of farm products sold per acre of land in farms was $40. 
The average for all farms in the United States was $21.28 (fig. 37). 
In a number of smaller regions in different parts of the United 
States, the average value of farm products sold per acre of farm- 
land was equal to or above that of the Central and Eastern Corn 
Belt. But most of the area of the United States was below the 
Corn Belt average. Parts of the Southern and Western Corn 
Belt were about equal to or below the United States average. 



Table 94. — Specified Resource Inputs and Value of Farm Products Sold in Relation to Land Acreage, by Type and Economic 

Class of Farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 



Type and economic class of farm 


Capital Investment per 
acre of all land In farms 
(dollars) 


Total specified 

expenses per 

acre of all land 

in farms ' 

(dollars) 


Acres of crop- 
land per tractor 


Investment in 
machinery and 
equipment per 
acre of crop- 
land (dollars) 


Value of all 
crops sold per 

acre of crop- 
land (dollars) 


Value of farm products sold per 
acre of all land in farms 
(dollars) 




Total > 


Livestock, 

machinery, 

and equipment 


Livestock and 
livestock 
products 


All farm 
products 


All rnTnmprcial filrms 


206 

216 

277 
252 
202 
173 
162 
142 

204 
257 
235 
188 
158 
143 
123 


49 

39 
36 
40 
39 
39 
40 
35 

57 
69 
62 
55 
49 
46 
38 


12 

9 
13 
10 

8 
7 
6 
5 

15 
29 
16 
11 
9 
7 
5 


92 

101 
144 
114 
101 
86 
68 
65 

91 
113 

96 
88 
81 
68 
70 


39 

36 
29 
33 
35 
40 
47 
47 

41 

39 
41 
41 

42 
48 
60 


20 

33 
51 
40 
SO 
24 
20 
13 

9 
13 
12 
7 
4 
3 
2 


26 

8 
12 
10 
8 
6 
3 
2 

39 
91 
45 
28 
19 
13 
8 


40 


Cash-^aln farms: 

Total -- 


Class I - 


56 
44 
32 
23 


II 


Ill 


rv 


V 


17 
10 

45 


VI 

Livestock farms: 3 

Total - 


Class I 


100 
63 
32 


11 


III 


rv - 




V -.-- 


15 


VI 









1 Value of total investment in land, buildings, livestock, machinery, and equipment. 

3 Total of expenditures for machine hire, hired labor, feed bought, gsisoline and other 
petroleum fuel and oil, commercial fertilizer and fertilizing material, and lime and 
liming material. 



' Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



AVERAGE VALUE OF FARM PRODUCTS SOLD PER ACRE OF ALL LAND IN FARMS, 1954 

(COUNTY UNIT BASIS) 




I 1 UND£K 5 
m^ TO 9 

CZl <° TO w 

E©Hj TO 24 
* NO FARMS 



US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 



MAP NO AS4'329 



BUflEAU OF THE CENSUS 



FiGUKB 37. 



66 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



PRODUCTION PER UNIT OF LABOR 

Labor productivity is an important measure of efiSciency in 
farming (5). Even on farms tliat are highly mechanized, labor 
represents a large proportion of the total inputs. The level of 
farm income is mainly a function of the value of products produced 
per worker. The productivity of labor, generally, is increased as 
the quantity of other resources used per worker is increased. 

Quantities of specified resources used per man-equivalent of 
labor on cash-grain and livestock farms in the Corn Belt are shown 
in table 95 along with the value of farm products sold per man- 
equivalent. The average acreage of all land per man-equivalent 
of labor on all commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 was 171 
acres. Land acreage per man-equivalent averaged largest on 
cash-grain farms in the Western Corn Belt (240 acres), and smallest 
on livestock farms in the Eastern Corn Belt (140 acres). The 
acreage of land per man-equivalent was larger on cash-grain farms 
than on livestock farms in every region. 

Table 95. — Specified Resources Used and Value of Farm 
Products Sold, Per Man-Equivalent of Labor, by Type 
OF Farm, in the Corn Belt and Component Regions: 1954 



Region and type of farm 



Total Cora Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms 3 

Eastern Cora Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms 3 

Central Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms 3 

Northern Cora Belt: 
All commercial farms. . . 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms 3 

Western Com Belt: 
All commercial farms, . . 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms 3 

Southern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms 

Livestock farms 



Resources per man-equivalent of labor 


All 
land 


Crop- 
land 
har- 
vested 


Capital 
investment 


Total 
speci- 
fied ex- 
penses 2 


Trac- 
tors 


Total 1 


Live- 
stock, 
ma- 
chinery, 
and 








equip- 
ment 






Acres 
171 
195 
179 


Acres 
105 
138 
98 


Dollars 

35, 217 
41, 996 

36, 464 


Dollars 
8,429 

7,687 
10, 271 


Dollars 
2,120 
1,670 
2,627 


Number 
1.33 
1.53 
1.31 


136 
166 
140 


89 
118 

85 


36, 952 
41, 270 
39, 985 


7,968 
7,646 
10,091 


2,279 
1,867 
2,938 


1.47 
1.6S 
1.47 


154 

179 
146 


113 
143 

98 


48, 782 
59, 681 
45,129 


9,447 
8,331 
11, 534 


2,496 
1,961 
3,036 


1.49 
1.66 
1.44 


147 
181 
148 


98 
139 
94 


29,052 
32, 188 
31, 985 


8,481 
7,371 
10, 423 


1,851 
1,478 
2,226 


1.28 
1.45 
1.29 


219 
240 
226 


126 
156 
118 


34,406 
35,568 
36, 879 


8,864 
7,352 
10,666 


2,070 
1,377 
2,679 


1.26 
1.35 
1.26 


184 
208 
198 


89 
127 
82 


24, 612 
28,620 
26,167 


7,116 
6,679 
8,202 


1,791 
1,447 
2,125 


1.14 
1.37 
1.11 



Value 
of all 
farm 
prod- 
ucts 
sold per 
man- 
equiv- 
alent of 
labor 



Dollars 
6,870 
6,766 
8,070 



6,408 
6,981 
8,275 



8.909 
8,662 
9,923 



6,443 
6,236 
7.738 



6,946 
6,868 
8,479 



4,685 
4,733 
5,365 



' Value of total investment in land, buildings, livestock, machinery, and equipment. 

3 Total expenditures for machine hire, hired labor, feed bought, gasoline and other 
petroleum fuel and oil, commercial fertilizer and fertilizing material, and lime and 
liming material. 

3 Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



For all commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954, total capital 
investment per man-equivalent of labor averaged $35,217, of 
which about a fourth was investment in livestock, machinery, 
and equipment. Total specified expenses per man-equivalent 
averaged $2,120, but ranged from an average of $3,036 on live- 
stock farms in the Central Corn Belt down to $1,377 on cash- 
grain farms in the Western Corn Belt. Value of all farm products 
sold per man-equivalent of labor averaged $6,870 for all commercial 
farms. 



Livestock farms in the Central Corn Belt obtained the greatest 
value of all farm products sold per man-equivalent of labor 
($9,923). This group of farms also had the largest investment 
in livestock, machinery, and equipment per man-equivalent and 
the greatest current inputs in terms of total specified expenses 
per man-equivalent. Cash-grain farms in the Central Corn Belt 
obtained an average of $8,662 in value of farm products sold per 
man-equivalent of labor. This was a greater amount than that 
obtained by the cash-grain farms in any other region. Cash-grain 
farms in the Central Corn Belt had the largest total capital in- 
vestment per man-equivalent among all groups of farms and the 
largest amount of total specified expenses per man-equivalent 
among the cash-grain farms in all regions Cash-grain farms in 
the Southern Corn Belt averaged lowest among the cash-grain 
farms in aU regions as to the value of farm products sold per man- 
equivalent, and were also lowest among the cash-grain farms in 
value of total investment and in value of investment in livestock, 
machinery, and equipment. Cash-grain farms in the Southern 
Corn Belt were among the lowest groups in total specified expenses 
per man-equivalent of labor. Livestock farms in the Southern 
Corn Belt ranked lowest among the livestock farms in all regions 
as to value of farm products sold per man-equivalent and as to 
total capital investment, investment in livestock, machinery and 
equipment, and total specified expenses per man-equivalent of 
labor. 

Value of farm products sold per man-equivalent of labor is 
strongly correlated with economic class of farm (table 96). 
Economic Class I farms among both the cash-grain and livestock 
types ranked much higher than any other economic class in terms 
of value of farm products sold per man-equivalent. Likewise, 
Class II farms ranked substantially above Class III farms, 
Class III farms ranked above Class IV farms, and so on down to 
Class VI farms, where the value of farm products sold per man- 
equivalent was the lowest of all. 

Table 96. — Specified Resources Used and Value of Farm 
Products Sold, Per Man-Equivalent of Labor, by Type 
AND Economic Class of Farm, in the Corn Belt: 1954 





Resoiu-ces per man-equivalent of labor 






All 
land 


Crop- 
land 
har- 
vested 


Capital 
Investment 


Total 
speci- 
fied ex- 
penses 3 


Trac- 
tors 


Value 
of all 
farm 
prod- 


Type and economic class 
of farm 


Total 1 


Live- 
stock, 

ma- 
chinery, 

and 
equip- 
ment 


ucts 
sold per 

man- 
equiv- 
alent of 

labor 


All commercial farms 

Cash-grain farms: 
Total 


Acres 
171 

195 
261 
224 
193 
169 
148 
101 

179 
211 
194 
178 
163 
150 
111 


Acres 
105 

138 
202 
170 
137 
110 
85 
48 

98 
126 
118 
99 
78 
57 
31 


Dollars 
35, 217 

41,996 
72, 132 
66, 621 
39, 132 
29,321 
23,924 
14, 327 

36,454 
54,168 
46, 426 
33, 462 
26, 787 
21, 494 
13,646 


Dollars 
8,429 

7,687 
9,103 
8,876 
7,584 
6,677 
5,923 
3,660 

10, 271 
14, 624 
12,061 
9,731 
8,049 
6,864 
4,264 


Dollars 
2,120 

1,670 
3,419 
2,252 
1,627 
1,123 
897 
460 

2,627 
6,192 
3,163 
2,018 
1,448 
1,082 
666 


Number 
1.33 

1.63 
1.64 
1.64 
1.52 
1.45 
1.50 
0.96 

1.31 
1.31 
1.45 
1.34 
1.21 
1.16 
0.70 


Dollar) 
6,870 

6,756 


ClassI 


14, 475 


II 


9,889 


Ill 


6,139 


IV 


3,897 


V 


2,509 


VI 


970 


Livestock farms: 3 
Total - 


8,070 


ClassI 


21,201 


II 


10,250 


III . . 


6,755 


IV 


3,462 


V 


2,226 


VI 


937 







' Value of total investment In land, buildings, livestock, machinery, and equipment. 

2 Total of expenditures for machine hire, hired labor, feed bought, gasoline and other 
petroleum fuel and oil, commercial fertilizer and fertilizing material, and lime and 
liming material. 

'Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



CASH-GRAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN THE CORN BELT 



67 



Not only did the upper economic classes of farms have the 
greatest value of sales per man-equivalent of labor; they also 
had the largest capital investment and the largest amounts of 
total specified expenses per man-equivalent of labor. For ex- 
ample, in the case of livestock farms, Class I farms obtained an 
average of $21,201 value of farm products sold per man-equivalent 
of labor, while the total capital investment on these farms averaged 
$54,168, and the total specified expenses averaged $0,192 per 
man-equivalent. At the other extreme, Class VI livestock farms 
averaged only $937 in value of farm products sold per man- 
equivalent. The average total investment on Class VI livestock 
farms was only $13,645, and the average total specified expenses 
was only $566 per man-equivalent of labor. 

The acreage of land per man-equivalent worker was greater on 
the upper than on the lower economic classes of farms. The 
ratio of tractors to men was greater also on the upper economic 
classes of farms with the exception of Class I farms where the 
ratio was smaller than on the Class II farms. 

PRODUCTION PER UNIT OF CAPITAL 

Value of all farm products sold in relation to amount of capital 
invested or used in the farm business is another useful indicator 
of efficiency. Data on value of farm products sold per thousand 
dollars of total investment and per dollar of specified expenses 
are shown for Corn Belt farms in tables 97 and 98. 

The value of all farm products sold per thousand dollars of 
total investment on all commercial farms in the Corn Belt in 1954 
was $195. The average for cash-grain farms was $161, and the 
average for livestock farms was $221. Livestock farms had a 



Table 97- — Value of Farm Products Sold Per Thousand 
Dollars Capital Investment and Per Dollar of Specified 
Expenses, by Type of Farm, in The Corn Belt and Com- 
ponent Regions; 1954 





Value of all farm products sold 


Region and type of farm 


Per thousand 
dollars of total 
investment ' 


Per dollar of 6 
specified 
expenses * 


Total Corn Belt: 


Dalian 

195 
161 
221 

192 
169 
207 

183 
145 
220 

222 
194 
242 

202 
166 
230 

190 
166 
205 


Dollars 

3.24 


Cash-grain farms - 


4.04 




3.07 


Eastern Corn Belt: 


3.03 


Cash-grain farms 


3.74 




2.82 


Central Com Belt: 


3.67 


Cash-grain farms 


4.42 




3.27 


Northern Corn Belt: 

All commercial farms. . 


3.48 


Cash-grain farms 


4.22 


Livestock farms 3 __ 


3.48 


Western Corn Belt: 

A 11 commercial farms 


3.36 


Cash-grain farms 


4.26 


Livestock farms ' 


3.17 


Southern Com Belt: 

All commercial farms _. 


2.62 


Cash-grain farms 


3.27 


Livestock farms ' _. 


2.52 







' Per thousand dollars of Investment In land and buildings, machinery and equip- 
ment, and livestock. 
2 Per dollar of expenditures for machine hire, hired labor, feed, gasoline and other 

f)etroleum fuel and oil, commercial fertilizer and fertilizing material, and lime and 
iming material. 
■Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



greater value of sales per thousand dollars of investment than did 
cash-grain farms in every region of the Corn Belt. The highest 
value of sales per thousand dollars of investment was on livestock 
farms in the Northern Corn Belt ($242), and the lowest was on 
cash-grain farms in the Central Corn Belt ($145). Cash-grain 
farms in the Northern Corn Belt showed up relatively higher in 
returns to total capital investment than they did in returns per 
man-equivalent of labor. 

The average value of farm products sold per dollar of 6 specified 
expenses was $4.04 for all cash-grain farms and $3.07 for all live- 
stock farms in the Corn Belt. Value of sales per dollar of the speci- 
fied current expense inputs was above the Corn Belt average on 
both cash-grain and livestock farms in the Central, Western, and 
Northern Corn Belt. The value of sales per thousand dollars 
of total investment on cash-grain farms in the Central Corn Belt 
was relatively low, but the return per dollar of current expense 
inputs was relatively high. All groups of farms in the Southern 
and Eastern Corn Belt were below the corresponding group aver- 
ages for the total Corn Belt in value of products sold per dollar 
of specified expenses. 

The value of all farm products sold per thousand dollars of total 
investment is consistently greater on the higher economic classes 
of farms. This is also true for the value of products sold per dollar 
of specified expenses (table 98). In terms of the latter ratio, the 
differences between the higher and lower economic classes of farms 
are somewhat greater than they would have been if expenditures 
for livestock purchased had been included among the specified 
expenses. On cash-grain farms, the value of products sold per 
thousand dollars of total investment ranged from a high of $201 
on Class I farms to a low of $68 on Class VI farms. On livestock 
farms the range was from $391 on Class I farms to $69 on Class 
VI farms. Value of sales per dollar of specified expenses was 
only half as large on Class VI cash-grain farms as on Class I cash- 
grain farms ($2. 1 1 compared with $4.23) . On livestock farms, the 
range was from $3.42 on Class I farms to $1.66 on Class VI farms. 



Table 98. — Value of Farm Products Sold Per Thousand 
Dollars of Capital Investment and Per Dollar of Speci- 
fied Expenses, by Type and Economic Class of Farm, in 
The Corn Belt: 1954 





Value of all farm products sold 


Type and economic class of farm 


Per thousand 
dollars of total 
investment ' 


Per dollar of 6 
specified 
expenses ' 


All commercial farms 


Dollars 

196 

161 
201 
176 
167 
133 
105 
68 

221 
391 
226 
172 
134 
104 
69 


Dollars 

3 24 


Cash-grain farms: 

Total 


4.04 


Class I 


4.23 


II 


4.39 


III 


4.02 


IV 


3.47 


v... 


2.80 


VI - 


2. 11 


Livestock farms: ' 

Total 


3.07 


Class I - - - 


3.42 


II 


3.24 


III - . . 


2,86 


IV 


2.39 


V 


2.06 


VI 


1.66 







' Per thousand dollars of investment In land and buildings, machinery and equip- 
ment, and livestock. 

2 Per dollar of expenditures for machine hire, hired labor, feed, gasoline and other 
petrok'imi fuel an<l oil, commercial fertilizer and fertilizing material, and lime and 
liming material. 

■Livestock other than dairy and poultry farms. 



68 FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 

LITERATURE CITED 

(1) Anderson, M. A., Cairns, L. E., Heady, Earl O., and Baum, E. L. 

1956. An Appraisal of Factors Affecting the Acceptance and Use of Fertilizer in Iowa, 1953. Iowa State College and Agr. 
Expt. Sta. Special Report No. 16, 36 pp., illus. 

(S) Davis, Joe F. 

1956. Use of Electricity on Farms, a summary report of 10 area studies. U. S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Inform. Bui. 161, 38 pp., illus. 

(S) National Soil and Fertilizer Research Committee, the Fertilizer Work Group. 

1954. Fertilizer Use and Crop Yields in the United States. U. S. Dept. Agr. Handbook 68, 75 pp. (U. S. Agr. Res. Serv., 

Soil and Water Conservation Res. and Prod. Econ. Res. Br. cooperating.) 

(4) Strand, Edwin G. 

1948. Soybeans in American Farming. U. S. Dept. Agr., Tech. Bui. 966, 66 pp., illus. 

(5) Strand, Edwin G , Heady, Earl O., and Seagraves, James A. 

1955. Productivity of Resources Used on Commercial Farms. U. S. Dept. Agr., Tech. Bui. 1128, 86 pp., illus. 

(6) United States Agricultural Marketing Service. 

1955-56. Annual Summary. Crop Production. Acreage, Yield, and Production of Principal Crops, by States, with Compari- 
sons, 1955, 1956. (Processed.) 

(7) United States Agricultural Marketing Service. 

1955. Crop Values Season Average Prices and Value of Production, 1954 and 1955, by States. 33 pp. (Processed.) 

(8) United States Agricultural Marketing Service. 

1956. Field Crops by States, 1949-54. U. S. Dept. Agr. Statis. Bui. 185, 64 pp. 

(9) United States Agricultural Marketing Service. 

1956. Livestock and Poultry Inventory, January 1. Number, Value, and Classes — by States, 1940-54. U. S. Dept. Agr. 
Statis. Bui. 177, 117 pp. 

(10) United States Bureau of Agricultural Economics. 

1950. Generalized Types of Farming in the United States. U. S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Inform. Bui. 3, 35 pp., illus. 

(//) United States Department of Agriculture. 

1938. Yearbook of Agriculture: 1938. Soils and Men. 1232 pp., illus. 

o