Effects of changing prices and costs on the level and distribution of agricultural production in Manitoba : a linear programming analysis

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Baker, Laurence Bruce Bell
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The migration which for many years has been under way from rural to urban communities, has necessitated change in both the number and size of those farms remaining in operation. As farm units increase in size they become more capable of supporting those farmers, and their families, who operate them; even in years of low commodity prices. Those farmers in the smaller size categories however have become a concern of governments. Thus programs such as the Farm Diversification Program (Provincial) and the Small Farm Development Program (Federal) were set up to aid those smaller farm units, especially in the lean years. This thesis was therefore initiated with three general objectives which are to investigate per farm income, employment and capitalization levels, by region in Manitoba under a) 1971 commodity and factor prices, b) 1974 commodity and factor prices, and c) to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of farm income stabilization programs, such as the two mentioned above... The general findings of the study are as follows: 1. In years of low grain prices (such as 1971) farms in each size class require supplementation of income by some other means than just farming. 2. In years such as 1974 with high grain prices, both large (greater than 760 acres) and medium sized farms (240 - 759 acres) provide adequate income and employment levels without supplementation. 3. Stabilization programs such as the Farm Diversification Program will have their greatest impact in years with the low grain prices (for example 1971)... The results given in this thesis indicate that well managed mixed farming should be considered as a viable alternative to the traditional single enterprise crop or livestock farms.