Pictured Above: Gary Ellis raises his own hay for his 50-cow herd, traveling between three farms, which are located along the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. Read more about Ellis and his small farm.
USDA recently released its "America’s Diverse Family Farms, 2017 Edition," based on data collected from approximately 18,500 farms. The report shows that most U.S. farms are small. Small farms operate half of farmland and account for 23% of production.
Here are other highlights:
- 90% of farms are small, and these farms accounted for 51% of the land operated by farms in 2016.
- Large-scale family farms accounted for the largest share of production, at 45%.
- Family farms of various types together accounted for 98.8% of farms and 90% of production in 2016.
- Non-family farms accounted for the remaining farms (1%) and production (10%). 19% of non-family farms had gross cash farm income of $1,000,000 or more, and they accounted for 88% of non-family farms’ production. Examples of non-family farms include partnerships of unrelated partners, closely held non-family corporations, farms with a hired operator unrelated to the owners, and (relatively few) publicly held corporations.