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Structural and Financial Characteristics of U.S. Farms: 2001 Family Farm Report


Author Info

  • Johnson, James D.
  • Perry, Janet E.
  • Korb, Penelope J.
  • Sommer, Judith E.
  • Ryan, James T.
  • Green, Robert C.
  • Durst, Ron L.
  • Monke, James D.


Family farms vary widely in size and other characteristics, ranging from very small retirement and residential farms to establishments with sales in the millions of dollars. The farm typology developed by the Economic Research Service (ERS) categorizes farms into groups based primarily on occupation of the operator and sales class of the farm. The typology groups reflect operators' expectations from farming, position in the life cycle, and dependence on agriculture. The groups differ in their importance to the farm sector, product specialization, program participation, and dependence on farm income. These (and other) differences are discussed in this report.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Agricultural Information Bulletins with number 33707.

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Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:uersab:33707

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Keywords: Agricultural Resource Management Study (ARMS); family farms; farm businesses; farm financial situation; farm operator household income; farm operators; farm structure; farm typology; female farm operators; government payments; spouses of farm operators; taxes; Agricultural Finance; Farm Management;


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  1. Michael Boehlje, 1992. "Alternative models of structural change in agriculture and related industries," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 219-231.
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Cited by:
  1. Zahniser, Steven & Hoppe, Robert A. & Johnson, James D. & Banker, David E., 2002. "Structural Change In An Era Of Increased Openness: A Background Paper On The Structure Of U.S. Agriculture," Structural Change as a Source of Trade Disputes Under NAFTA; Proceedings of the 7th Agricultural and Food Policy Systems Information Workshop - 2001 16872, Farm Foundation, Agricultural and Food Policy Systems Information Workshops.
  2. Roderick M. Rejesus & Cesar L. Escalante & Ashley C. Lovell, 2005. "Share Tenancy, Ownership Structure, and Prevented Planting Claims in Crop Insurance," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(1), pages 180-193.
  3. Vergara, Oscar & Coble, Keith H. & Patrick, George F. & Knight, Thomas O. & Baquet, Alan E., 2004. "Farm Income Variability and the Supply of Off-Farm Labor by Limited-Resource Farmers," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 36(02), August.
  4. Lohr, Luanne, 2002. "Benefits of U.S. organic agriculture," MPRA Paper 24327, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Lohr, Luanne & Park, Timothy A., 2002. "Choice of insect management portfolios by organic farmers: lessons and comparative analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 87-99, November.
  6. Bowles, Tyler J. & Bosworth, Ryan, 2001. "Farm Household Wealth: Measurement, Structure, And Determinants," 2001 Annual Meeting, July 8-11, 2001, Logan, Utah 36052, Western Agricultural Economics Association.
  7. Blandford, David & Boisvert, Richard N., 2002. "Non-Trade Concerns And Domestic/International Policy Choice," Working Papers 14615, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
  8. Chaddad, Fabio Ribas & Cook, Michael L., 2002. "Testing For The Presence Of Financial Constraints In U.S," Working Papers 26045, University of Missouri Columbia, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  9. Lohr, Luanne & Park, Timothy A., 2003. "Improving Extension Effectiveness for Organic Clients: Current Status and Future Directions," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 28(03), December.
  10. Hoppe, Robert A. & Korb, Penelope J., 2001. "Farm Operations Facing Development: Results From The Census Longitudinal File," 2001 Annual meeting, August 5-8, Chicago, IL 20771, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  11. Ahearn, Mary Clare & Korb, Penelope J. & Banker, David E., 2005. "Industrialization and Contracting in U.S. Agriculture," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 37(02), August.


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