Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
The data from Nebraska and South Dakota come from the 1986 Nebraska and South
Dakota Leasing Survey . To generate these data, questionnaires were sent to over 10,000
farmers and landowners in Nebraska and South Dakota, generating 1,615 usable responses
for Nebraska and 1,155 for South Dakota, in which each observation represents a single
farmer or landowner for the 1986 crop season. To conduct our tests for contract choice, in
chapters 3-7 we reorganized the data so that each observation is a single farmland contract
between a farmer and a landowner. Because many individuals had more than one contract
this increased the sample size by 20 percent and resulted in 2,101 observations for Nebraska
and 1,331 for South Dakota. These data contain information on the general characteristics
of the farmer and landowner, the number of acres owned and leased, the type of contract,
the type of crop grown, and so on. These data are used primarily in chapters 3-7 to examine
the determinants of contract choice and design. 26
The main data for British Columbia and Louisiana come from two surveys we conducted
in January 1993, for the 1992 crop year. There were 460 usable responses for British
Columbia and 530 for Louisiana. Unlike the Nebraska-South Dakota data, these data do
not have detailed information on landowners who lease to farmers or information on input
sharing within cropshare contracts. They do, however, have information on ownership
of land and other assets. The 1,004 different farms that make up the British Columbia-
Louisiana sample are often arranged in various ways to create different data sets. Because
we use these data to examine several different questions, they are sometimes organized
around a farm, a plot of land, equipment, or buildings. These data are used throughout the
topic. In chapters 3-7 they are used to examine the determinants of contract choice and
design. In chapters 8 and 9 they are used to examine the determinants of ownership and
organization. Table 2.10 shows the summary statistics for key variables in each of these
four jurisdictions. As can be seen by comparing table 2.3 with table 2.10, our micro data
are made up of the larger, more full-time farms. 27
In addition to the statistical datasets described above, we make use of historical infor-
mation on industries and regions, case studies of specific practices in industries, aggregate
data, statistical findings from other studies, and information on law and legal decisions. For
example, in chapter 3 we examine land contracts from the late 1800s in North Dakota and
compare them to contemporary contracts. In chapter 8 we examine the organization of cus-
tom combining firms on the Great Plains. In chapter 9 we similarly examine the expansive,
fully integrated “Bonanza farms” of the late 1800s, the transformation of the sugarcane
industry after innovations in sugar processing, and the “industrialization” of much of the
livestock industry in the last three decades. These additional data supplement the findings
from our econometric estimates and also show the richness of the variation in contracts and
organization over time and across regions.
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