Journal of Farm Economics | VOL. 33

Food Production Strategy and the Protein-Feed Balance

Publication Date May 1, 1951


THE strongest military defense is one in depth. So it is in the grand strategy of food production in this period of emergency. The vigor with which we forge each line of our food defenses will determine our final success. No phase of the ramified problem should be neglected. But just as military strategy must be changed to take account of new weapons and new conditions, so must new approaches be sought in agriculture. At the outset of World War II, American agriculture had a vast reserve of underutilized resources and capacity, including new technology that had not yet been exploited. Aggregate farm production expanded remarkably to meet our needs and resources were adjusted to achieve phenomenal increases in specific commodities that were especially needed. Possibilities were studied of using scarce resources more effectively to produce more food by adjusting the production pattern toward plants and animals that produce more nutrients per unit of resources.1 But most of the wartime expansion came through cashing in on the reserve capacities that had accumulated in the prewar period. More complete application of known technology, fuller use of underutilized resources, together with shifts in acreage and livestock production required to meet specific needs were the prime movers. Favorable weather conditions also helped. Similar measures can be applied again, but it is very doubtful whether a corresponding expansion from present levels could be obtained, at least in anything like the same time. Like the rest of the national ec...


Nation's Food Supply Favorable Weather Conditions Unused Reserves Unit Of Resources Period Of Emergency Specific Commodities Prewar Period American Agriculture Final Success Prime Movers

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