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Updating the ERS Farm Typology


  • Hoppe, Robert A.
  • MacDonald, James M.


The USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) farm typology was originally developed to classify farms into relatively homogeneous groups based on their gross farm sales, the primary occupation of their operators, and whether the farms are family farms. Nearly 15 years have passed since ERS first released its farm typology; in this report, we update it to reflect commodity price inflation and the shift of production to larger farms. We also make a technical change, switching the measure of farm size from gross farm sales to gross cash farm income (GCFI), the total revenue received by a farm business in a given year. After the price adjustment, small farms are defined as those with GCFI less than $350,000, up from the original $250,000 cutoff. To adjust for the upward shift in production, two groups are added to the typology for farms with GCFI of $1 million or more, and a midsize group is added for farms with GCFI between $350,000 and $999,999.

Suggested Citation

  • Hoppe, Robert A. & MacDonald, James M., 2013. "Updating the ERS Farm Typology," Economic Information Bulletin 147120, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersib:147120

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. MacDonald, James M., 2008. "The Economic Organization of U.S. Broiler Production," Economic Information Bulletin 58627, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. repec:oup:revage:v:29:y:2007:i:4:p:765-782. is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Brian C. Briggeman & Allan W. Gray & Mitchell J. Morehart & Timothy G. Baker & Christine A. Wilson, 2007. "A New U.S. Farm Household Typology: Implications for Agricultural Policy," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 765-782.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wade, Tara & Claassen, Roger, 2015. "Modeling No-Tillage Adoption by Corn and Soybean Producers: Insights into Sustained Adoption," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 204957, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    2. Gupta, Clare & Jablonski, Becca B.R., 2016. "Farm Impacts of Farm-to-Grocer Sales: The Case of Hawai’i," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 47(3), November.
    3. Ifft, Jennifer & Patrick, Kevin & Novini, Amirdara, 2014. "Debt Use By U.S Farm Businesses, 1992-2011," Economic Information Bulletin 165912, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    4. Burns, Christopher & Prager, Daniel, "undated". "Do Direct Payments and Crop Insurance Influence Commercial Farm Survival and Decisions to Expand?," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235693, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Nagelschmitz, Katrin & Esqueda, Arden & Hernandez Ramos, Hugo & Esteves Cano, Luis Fernando & Ahearn, Mary Clare, 2013. "Farm Classification Systems for North American Agriculture," Miscellaneous Papers 189138, Agecon Search.
    6. Patrick Mundler & Sophie Laughrea, 2015. "Circuits alimentaires de proximité - Quels bénéfices pour le développement des territoires? Étude de cas dans trois territoires québécois," CIRANO Project Reports 2015rp-21, CIRANO.


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