Large farms account for increasing share of agricultural sales

A bar chart showing the market value of agricultural products sold, by constant dollar sales class, years 1982 to 2007.

U.S. farm production continues to shift to larger operations, while the number of small commercial farms and their share of farm sales continue a long-term decline. Larger farms have competitive advantages over smaller farms in most commodities, reflecting economies of size in farming. The share of total sales accounted for by farms with sales of $1,000,000 or more increased steadily from 24 percent in 1982 to 59 percent in 2007. Small commercial farms (those with constant dollar sales of $10,000 to $250,000) accounted for 14 percent of farm sales in 2007, down from 41 percent in 1982. This graph comes from Small Farms in the United States: Persistence Under Pressure, EIB-63, February 2010.

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