Research on Farm Structure and Organization

ERS research provides detailed empirical analyses of specific issues related to the economics of farm structure and organization. The research generally makes extensive use of data from the Census of Agriculture and the Agricultural Resource Management Survey, and the findings are published in peer-reviewed ERS reports and professional journals. Examples of recent and ongoing research topics include the following, with links to relevant ERS reports.

The Organization of U.S. Agriculture

Recent ERS analyses have documented the long-standing shifts of agricultural production to larger family farms, and have identified the continuing role of small farms in U.S. agriculture. Other research analyzes the impact of changing Federal policies on farm organization and financial performance. See the following ERS reports for example:

Farm Policy and Farm Structure

Changing farm structure affects the distribution of benefits from farm programs, and the specific elements of farm program design can affect farm structure. Recent ERS research has analyzed how dairy policy has been redesigned in response to increased price risks and the changing structure of dairy farms. See the ERS reports for more information:

Consolidation in Livestock Production

Livestock production has shifted to much larger operations. Recent and ongoing ERS research documents those changes, and assesses the causal forces driving the shifts, for specific livestock commodities and for the sector as a whole. See the ERS reports for examples:

ERS research also analyzes the economics of several public policy issues related to large scale livestock operations., such as the economics of antibiotic use in livestock agriculture. See the ERS reports for examples: