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Small Farms in the United States: Persistence Under Pressure

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  • Hoppe, Robert A.
  • MacDonald, James M.
  • Korb, Penelope J.
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    Abstract

    Ninety-one percent of U.S. farms are classified as small—gross cash farm income (GCFI) of less than $250,000. About 60 percent of these small farms are very small, generating GCFI of less than $10,000. These very small noncommercial farms, in some respects, exist independently of the farm economy because their operators rely heavily on off-farm income. The remaining small farms—small commercial farms—account for most small-farm production. Overall farm production, however, continues to shift to larger operations, while the number of small commercial farms and their share of sales maintain a long-term decline. The shift to larger farms will continue to be gradual, because some small commercial farms are profitable and others are willing to accept losses.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Economic Information Bulletin with number 58300.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:uersib:58300

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    Keywords: Family farms; farm businesses; farm financial performance; farm-operator household income; farm operators; farm structure; noncommercial farms; small farms; small commercial farms; Agricultural and Food Policy; Farm Management;

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    Cited by:
    1. MacDonald, James M., 2011. "Why Are Farms Getting Larger? The Case Of The U.S," 51st Annual Conference, Halle, Germany, September 28-30, 2011 115361, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    2. Schilling, Brian J. & Attavanich, Witsanu & Jin, Yanhong, 2014. "Does Agritourism Enhance Farm Profitability?," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 39(1), April.
    3. Elliott, Matthew & James Jr., Harvey, 2013. "Nature Of The Farm: Revisited," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150726, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Dimitri, Carolyn & Hanson, James C. & Oberholtzer, Lydia, 2012. "Local Food in Maryland Schools: A Real Possibility or a Wishful Dream?," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 43(2), July.
    5. Williamson, James M. & Katchova, Ani L., 2013. "Tax-Exempt Bond Financing for Beginning and Low-Equity Farmers: The Case of ‘Aggie Bonds’," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 45(03), August.
    6. Megan Carney, 2012. "Compounding crises of economic recession and food insecurity: a comparative study of three low-income communities in Santa Barbara County," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 185-201, June.
    7. Hoppe, Robert & Korb, Penni, 2013. "Characteristics of Women Farm Operators and Their Farms," Economic Information Bulletin 148543, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    8. Arita, Shawn & Hemanchandra, Dilini & Leung, PingSun, 0. "Can Local Farms Survive Globalization?," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association.

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