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Keeping Track: farm profits

US aid still key, though net sales inch up

The view from the top of the silo isn't too bad.

Government assistance appears to have helped arrest a serious slump in US farm income that began in 1996 after a short-lived jump in market-based income - income not linked to government subsidies - of $18 billion over 1995 net earnings.

In 2000, farmers sent grocers more red meat and poultry than ever before, according to a recent report by the Center for the Study of Rural America at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. But a big crop (the fifth consecutive US bumper harvest) meant a grain surplus, which hurt profits.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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