Since 2006, farm crop prices have risen dramatically, reversing a decades-long trend that saw persistent declines in agricultural commodities prices. U.S. Department of Agriculture officials talk about boom times for U.S. farmers, citing their most recent figures on the economic performance of the farm sector. Recent reports point to records in net farm income.
But are small-to-mid-scale family farmers really benefiting from the boom? No, according to the latest of three studies by Tufts University professor Timothy A. Wise, who has looked behind the glowing headlines on the farm sector as a whole to examine how family farmers have fared in this high-price environment, using readily available USDA data that breaks down the widely diverse range of working and non-working farms included in aggregate statistics,