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.