July 10, 2017

Some facts about farming

Demographic Snaphot of US Farmers from USDA Census of Agriculture

All categories of minority-operated farms increased between 2007 and 2012. Hispanic-operated farms were up 21 percent. Although more than half of all farms had sales of less than $10,000, minority-operated farms (except for Asian operated-farms) fell disproportionately into this group. In 2012, more than a third of Asian principal farmers operated farms with sales of $50,000 or more.

In 2012, the number of new farmers who have been on their current operation less than ten years was down 20 percent from 2007. Nearly 172,000 were on their current operation less than five years; this group was down 23 percent from 2007.

The majority of the nation’s 2.1 million farms are small in terms of sales; 75 percent sold less than $50,000 in agricultural products in 2012 and 57 percent had sales less than $10,000. The farm is the place of residence for three fourths of principal operators, but it does not provide the majority of their household income. For 1.5 million farm households, less than 25 percent of household income came from their farm. In 2012, 61 percent worked off the farm at least some days, and 40 percent worked off the farm for 200 or more days.

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