Commodity mixes differ by farm size. For example, hogs and poultry accounted for 29% of the production of small farms in 2016, a much greater share than in other size classes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Small farms typically raise the animals for processors under contracts, which reduces price risks and allows them access to bank financing. Dairy production and fruit, vegetable, and nursery crops — where economies of scale give an advantage to larger farms — accounted for 59% of the output of very large farms, compared to 12% of the output of small farms. Midsize farms emphasize corn and soybean production, as well as other field crops.
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