Reviewed Work: The Politics of Agricultural Research by Don F. Hadwiger


Agriculture, Politics, Research


As measured by many standards, such as growth in the rate of output per unit of labor or output per unit of total input, U.S. agriculture has no peer in the contemporary world. This fantastic productivity has made it possible for the American population to obtain its food for the lowest fraction of national income of any major nation in the world (about 16% of G.N.P.). In addition, the harvested output from about 1 /3 of our total acreage is exported, mostly to other advanced nations. Huge government pro- grams have diverted domestic supplies to subsidized school lunches, food stamp allocations, and food shipments abroad under the various titles of Public Law 480. Even these demand increasing programs, however, have been inadequate to clear markets at farm prices inflated by government support programs. Huge surpluses have accumulated, and this year (1983) very preliminary indications are that farmers will be setting aside approximately one third of their wheat and feed grain acreage in response to federal initiatives to buy their acreage-reduction participation. Instead of paying off the farmers in cash, the new program will issue them accumulated stocks of surplus commodities. No wonder the American public is confused about this vital economic sector and what ought to be done in the public policy arena.

Original Publication Citation

"Review: The Politics of Agricultural Research." Policy Science, Vol. 16, No. 2, 1983, pp. 183-185.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Policy Sciences




Family, Home, and Social Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor