USA - Small family farms dominate U.S. agriculture

Contrary to popular thought, small family farms dominate U.S. agriculture and hold the most agricultural assets, including farmland, according to the Economic Research Service (ERS).
Tuesday 14 September 2010 (8 years 2 months 27 days ago)
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Contrary to popular thought, small family farms dominate U.S. agriculture and hold the most agricultural assets, including farmland, according to the Economic Research Service (ERS).

ERS classifies family farms as small if they have annual sales of less than $250,000. Hoppe and Banker reported that these farms account for 88% of U.S. farms and hold 64% of U.S. agricultural assets, including 63% of farmland.

As custodians of most of these assets and lands, small farmers have, therefore, a major role in environmental and natural resource policy and account for 76% of the land enrolled in U.S. Department of Agriculture land-retirement strategies, largely the Conservation Reserve Program, the two researchers said.

Family and non-family farms are large if they have annual sales of $250,000 or more. Hoppe and Banker reported that these farms make up just 12% of U.S. farms but provide 84% of the value of U.S. agricultural production.

Of this 12%, 10% are family farms, which means 98% of U.S. farms are family owned, they said.

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