90% of US farms are defined as small farms, but they account for 33% of production value

May 9, 2015

Although 90 percent of US farms are considered small farms " which are defined as those which have less than $250,000 in gross sales " they only account for 33 percent of total value of production. It is the larger farms, with gross sales greater than $250,000, which produce two thirds of agricultural goods on only 32 percent of agricultural land. Because small farmers account for two thirds of all agricultural land, they are important in any discussions regarding land use and the rural environment. Large farms receive about 47 percent of all government payments. This can be viewed as disproportionably large, if considering that large farms are only 10 percent of all farms. Alternatively, it can be viewed as disproportionably small, if considering that large farms account for 67 percent of all production.


Source: "Agriculture in Crisis," Rethinking US Agricultural Policy: Changing Course to Secure Farmer Livelihoods Worldwide, September 2003, 12.

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