Vegetable production is concentrated on large farms

Bar chart showing specialized U.S. vegetable and melon farms.

As with most agricultural commodities, vegetable production has become increasingly concentrated over time as larger, more efficient farms have garnered a greater share of the domestic market. Thus, it is no surprise that ARMS data reveal that a majority of U.S. vegetable output comes from the largest farms. About 8 percent of all specialized vegetable and melon farms produced $1 million or more of agricultural commodities per year during 2005-07. These large commercial farms accounted for 87 percent of the total value of U.S. vegetable production. Given the relatively high per acre values of such crops as potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and asparagus, harvested area of these commodities is highly concentrated among farms with more than $1 million in sales per year. This figure is from Financial Characteristics of Vegetable and Melon Farms, VGS-342-01, February 2011.

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