Document Type


Publication Date



Agricultural Economics Department

Circular Number



Mortgage, Farm Management, Adjustments, Wheat, Emergency


This circular tells briefly the story of some farmers in the Spring Wheat section of South Dakota. It shows the strenuous effort being made by these men to reduce expenses or to shift their production so that their income will equal their expenses.
It illustrates certain adjustments that are being followed on some of the farms and suggests some changes that might be profitable on these and other farms.
The most serious difficulty arises from the effort to pay the fixed charges-interest, taxes, and payments on indebtedness. On nearly all farms some adjustments are being made to obtain a farm income large enough to meet the immediately pressing expenses. These adjustments have taken the form of:
1. Reducing cash expenses as much as is possible, sometimes to the extent that production is restricted or is carried on at greater risk. The effort to reduce expenses has in most cases led to a lower standard of living for the farm family.
2. Reducing capital assets to meet payment demanded on indebtedness even though this means the abandonment of a practical long time system of farming.
3. Family labor and the equipment is used to the limit of its capacity in an effort to increase the livestock enterprises and the acreage of crops so that the cash income can be increased.
4. In some cases the acreage of cash grain has been increased at the expense of feed grains, legumes, or a cropping system that would be advantageous over the long period of time.
5. In other cases, herd of stock cattle have been shifted to dairy production. In others, the practice of selling cattle as feeders has been changed to sale as finished or “warmed up cattle.”
6. Farmers with low priced feed surplus have sometime found it necessary to shift from a conservative production program to the more speculative one of feeding livestock.
7. In extreme cases, the operators have found it necessary to relinquish title to their farms and to continue operation as tenants to preserve their working capital and continue farming.
8. Only farmers relatively free of debt can reduce operations and wait for an improvement of prices.










South Dakota State State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Agricultural Experiment Station