According to a letter to the editor in the Farm Journal from Mel Simonson of Wisconsin, farmers in that state produced a record crop of both corn and soybeans in 1997.
Simonson wrote that in 1948 a bushel of corn was worth $2.48, while 50 years later it was $2.37, 11 cents less.
"Recently, sacrificing dairy farmers have been producing nature's most nearly perfect food at 1970 prices," he wrote.
Since 1948, the price of a new truck or tractor went up 1200 percent; the price of a pair of leather work shoes is also up 1200 percent; the cost of a spool of barbwire is up 800 percent; the cost of a day in the hospital is up 1000 percent; and property taxes are up 800 percent, according to Simonson.
"If the price of a bushel of corn had followed the price of industrial products up, the cost of a bushel of corn today would be $30 instead of $2.37. Guess who is doing the sacrificing?" Simonson wrote.
He concluded: "With Wisconsin alone losing four experienced,
dedicated dairy farmers every day due to economic stagnation in agriculture,
this important question comes to mind: will there be any experienced farmers
left to produce food for the tables of 300 million-plus hungry consumers
in the 21st century?"