Farm Production Just a Fraction of 'U.S. Food Dollar'

Farm Production Just a Fraction of 'U.S. Food Dollar'

The next time you spend a dollar at the grocery store, consider this – only 10.5% of that total came from farm production costs, according to a recent report from the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS). That’s up from 8.3% during the past two years.

Power Hour Noon Logo

ERS calculates the value added (or “cost contributions”) to the U.S. food dollar from 12 industry groups in the food supply chain. (Note that “other” includes two groups – agribusiness, and legal and accounting.) This is a snapshot of the 2013 food dollar.


Annual shifts in the food dollar among industry groups happen for a variety of reasons, including the mix of food consumers purchase and relative input costs. One big downshift in 2013 included products and services provided to farmers by agribusiness. It only accounted for 2.1% of the 2013 food dollar, down from 12.5% in 2012.

Taking the lion’s share of the 2013 food dollar was food services (31.5%) and food processing (15.5%).

The ERS also noted that for every dollar spent in 2013 in the U.S. on domestically produced food, U.S. farmers sold 17.4 cents of farm products to non-farm establishments (farm share). After falling to 16.2 cents in 2009, the farm share of food dollar expenditures in 2013 is at a level comparable to the 2007-08 level. Also, energy costs per food dollar decreased one-half cent from 5.6 cents in 2012 to 5.2 cents in 2013.

For more information, visit

Back to news




Spell Check

Mike Poindexter
Selma, CA
6/13/2015 09:27 PM

  This is so wrong. It mentions dollars spent at the supermarket, but that would be bypassing the food service. The prices at the supermarket certainly have a substantially higher percentage that are sent back to the farm.

summitville, OH
6/13/2015 07:05 AM

  This is only half the story. Of the 10.5% that we get how much is our cost? How much for taxes, seed, fertilizer, utilities, maintenance, equipment...? If we actually got to keep just 1% of the dollar spent I would be surprised.

Milo Ravndalen
Roosevelt, MN
5/28/2015 09:32 PM

  Get this article in major media outlets. We in Ag know these facts. Tell the American consumer


Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer