An analysis of viable and subsistent farming in the Interlake area of Manitoba

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Carr, William Irving
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The objective of this study was to prescribe the resources which constitute a viable farm unit in the Interlake area, and to determine the number of viable units which the resources are capable of supporting or allowing to evolve into viable units. Consideration was given to the prospective returns of adding resources to the unit where present ones are insufficient for viability. The basic problems of the area are: the limited productive capacity of the soils; the under-utilization of grassland which is the prime natural advantage of the area; the inability of present unit productive capacity to allow a margin for growth or serve as a base for borrowing development funds, and the limited alternative opportunities in the utilization of the soil resources. An analysis of 258 farm records completed during four years by the Economics Division, Canada Department of Agriculture was used in the search for farms which met defined standards for subsistent and viable units... Some of the more important results of this research study were as follows: 1. Visability in beef cattle production requires farms to obtain a dollars worth of production with an expense of less than 50 cents. 2. Viable farms must have a minimum of 1000 acres and 30 cows. 3. Viable farms milk cows and sell over $1,000 worth of cream. 4. Farms having $20,000 to $30,000 total farm capital can be viable when production income exceeds $6,000. When capital is $30,000 to $40,000 production income required was $7,500. When capital exceeds $40,000 production income must exceed $11,000 to be viable. 5. To be viable farmers first must acquire the necessary resources. Farms having over $40,000 total capital must have 1800 acres of land, 50 cows and sell about $1,000 worth of cream.