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RSS By: Paul Neiffer, Top Producer

Paul is now part of the fourth generation in America that is involved in farming and hopes the next generation will be involved also. Through his blog he provides analysis and insight to farmer tax questions.

Large Farms Over $1 Million in Sales Account for Half of Total Farm Sales

Aug 13, 2010

According to the USDA (using 2007 information) farmers who grow and raise more than $1 million in annual farm sales account for 47% of total farm production.  The survey done by the USDA compared 2007 to 1991 and there are several interesting facts in the survey:

  • Very small farms have increased by over 315,000 during the  period and large farms over $250,000 increased over 50,000 while the small commercial farms between $10,000 and $250,000 decreased by about 275,000 (all of the revenue numbers have been adjusted to reflect 2007 values).
  • In 1991, farms with less than $250,000 in sales represented 42% of the total farm sales.  In 2007, this had dropped to 23%.
  • Farms over $1 million in sales increased from 28% of the total to about 47%. 
  • Farms between $250,000 and $1 million held steady at about 30% of the total, while farms between $100 thousand and $250 thousand decrease from 23% to only 14%.
  • Operating margins were the highest in the over $1 million farmers with at least 60% of the farms showing an operating margin of 20% or more.
  • In all categories of farms, the farmer aged 65 or greater grew from 1991 to 2007.  For example, in those farms between $100 thousand to $500 thousand, the percentage of farms over age 65 grew from about 10% to about 20%.  Even the large farms say a small increase in these age groups.
  • Farms under $250,000 continue to be a large factor in the growing of hay, tobacco and small grains with their production ranging from 24% to 30% of these commodities

I think the trend of larger farms will continue especially as the older farmers pass on their land to children that are not in farming.

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