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New Food Dollar Reveals Farmers' Small Share

CHERYL TEVIS 03/15/2011 @ 10:21am Cheryl has been an editor at Successful Farming since 1979.

The American farmers' share of the food dollar is shrinking. A recently released report by USDA states that only 11.6% of every dollar spent on food goes to the farmer.

USDA issues a food dollar series to measure annual expenditures by U.S. consumers on domestically-produced food. The new report called "A Revised and Expanded Food Dollar Series – A Better Understanding of Our Food Costs" updates the marketing bill series which has been discontinued.

"Only a small percentage of our food dollar actually pays for the production of the raw commodity itself," says Dick Gallagher, chairman of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and a Washington farmer. "I think it's easy to see that what you pay at the store has even less to do with the price of corn." 

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