Structure and Finances of U.S. Farms: Family Farm Report, 2010 Edition
by Robert Hoppe
and David E. Banker
Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-66) 72 pp, July 2010
Most U.S. farms—98 percent in 2007—are family operations, and even the largest farms are predominantly family run. Large-scale family farms and nonfamily farms account for 12 percent of U.S farms but 84 percent of the value of production. In contrast, small family farms make up most of the U.S. farm count but produce a modest share of farm output. Small farms are less profitable than large-scale farms, on average, and their operator households tend to rely on off-farm income for their livelihood. Generally speaking, farm operator households cannot be characterized as low-income when both farm and off-farm income are considered. Nevertheless, limited-resource farms still exist and account for 3 to 12 percent of family farms, depending on how “limited-resource” is defined.
Keywords: Contracting, family farms, farm businesses, farm financial performance, farm-operator household income, farm operators, farm structure, farm type, Government payments, limited-resource farms, metropolitan farming, million-dollar farms
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