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Million-Dollar Farms in the New Century

by Robert Hoppe, Penni Korb, and David E. Banker

Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-42) 47 pp, December 2008

Cover image for ERS report "Million-Dollar Farms in the New Century" (EIB-42) Million-dollar farms—those with annual sales of at least $1 million—accounted for about half of U.S. farm sales in 2002, up from a fourth in 1982 (with sales measured in constant 2002 dollars). By 2006, million-dollar farms, accounting for 2 percent of all U.S. farms, dominated U.S. production of high-value crops, milk, hogs, poultry, and beef. The shift to million-dollar farms is likely to continue because they tend to be more profitable than smaller farms, giving them a competitive advantage. Most million-dollar farms (84 percent) are family farms, that is, the farm operator and relatives of the operator own the business. The million-dollar farms organized as nonfamily corporations tend to have no more than 10 stockholders.

Keywords: Contracting, family farms, farm businesses, farm financial performance, farm-operator household income, farm operators, farm structure, farm type, million-dollar farms

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Last updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

For more information contact: Robert Hoppe, Penni Korb, and David E. Banker