> "In fact small farms are 'multi-functional' -- more productive, more
> efficient, and contribute more to economic development than do large
> "small farmers not only still cling to the soil but continue
> to be more productive and more efficient than large, agri-business
> farming operations.
> "Free trade causes the prices
> farmers receive to drop through the floor", said Rosset," driving them
> into bankruptcy by the millions." Such low prices mean only the largest
> can survive, according to the study.
> What did I miss here? If small farms are more efficient, then
> why does a drop in prices cause the small ones to go bankrupt while the
> largest survive?
> This reminds me of the paradox that "organic" food supposedly
> costs less to produce yet costs more in the store. The only plausible
> explanation I've heard is the cost of certification, but this won't apply
> to the above discussion about small farms being more efficient but going
> bankrupt before the largest ones when prices drop.
> Regards, Edna
Can't say about the small farm/large farm issue, but I think the organic food
issue has to do with supply and demand. It does near in Raleigh, NC, anyway.
. . Organic produce (at specialty stores, e.g. Whole Foods/WellSpring) flies
off the shelf, even when marketed side-by-side with conventionally grown
produce at 33% lower prices! I also understand there is some storage loss and
loss due to "bad-looking" ftuits and veggies.
-- Russ Bulluck Ph.D. Candidate Department of Plant Pathology North Carolina State University PO Box 7616 Raleigh, NC 27695-7616
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The soil population is so complex that it manifestly cannot be dealt with as a whole with any detail by any one person, and at the same time it plays so important a part in the soil economy that it must be studied. --Sir E. John Russell The Micro-organisms of the Soil, 1923 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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