The Long-Run Demand for Farm Products

No one knows exactly what the demands for farm products will be in 1960 and 1975. Nor can anyone foresee the exact supplies of agricultural commodities in these years. Yet farmers, legislators, and administrators of agricultural programs cannot work entirely in the dark. They must base their plans upon the best possible estimates of future demand and supply conditions. They expect the economist and the statistician to analyze current and prospective trends and to make useful projections indicating the probable direction of major changes in the future. With these needs in mind, the United States Department of Agriculture in the past has made and published several projections of the long-range demand for and supply of farm products. The present report brings up to datr the Department's projections of potential demand for farm products around 1960 and 1975. While these projections show a substantial increase in total demand for farm products, they indicate some sharp differences in trends. For example, they point to sizable increases in the demand for livestock products and fruits and vegetables, and decidedly more limited increases for food grains and potatoes. Projections of demands and supplies are made on the basis of certain assumptions. We have assumed a stable price situation and a trend toward world peace. We have also made assumptions concerning such factors as population, labor force, employment, hours of work, and productivity. The projections shown in this report are not forecasts. Rather, they indicate what trends we would expect in the demand for farm products under a set of assumptions. The projections could go wrong if we suffered a long business depression, or if we became involved in a largescale war, or if nutritional findings or consumer preferences brought changes in consumption patterns appreciably different from those indicated in this report. FREDERICK V. WAUGH


Issue Date:
1956-07
Publication Type:
Journal Article
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/144768
Published in:
Agricultural Economics Research, Volume 08, Number 3
Page range:
73-91
Total Pages:
19




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-27

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