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Farms involved in local food sales differ from those that do not sell food locally

Monday, December 19, 2011

Farms reporting local food sales require more operator time, on average, than do farms without local food sales. The average farm with local food sales required 1.3 full-time equivalent (FTE) operator jobs (1 FTE job equals 2,000 hours worked annually), compared with 0.9 FTE operator job for farms without local food sales. This pattern held across farm sizes up to $250,000 in annual sales. For larger farms, there was no difference between the average number of FTE operators on farms with and without local food sales. Since the operators of large farms often market local food through intermediated channels, they may not face the same degree of labor intensity as operators selling directly to consumers. This chart is found in the December 2011 issue of Amber Waves magazine.

Urban areas prove profitable for farmers selling directly to consumers

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Urban markets seem to be especially targeted by farmers engaged in direct sales. Fully 84 percent of farms that sell directly to consumers are located in metropolitan counties or in adjacent rural counties, and these farms accounted for 89 percent of the direct sales income reported by farm operators in 2007. Average direct sales value per farm decreased for farms located progressively farther from urban centers: from $10,987 for farms located in metropolitan counties, to $6,767 for farms in adjacent rural counties, and to $6,090 for farms in remote rural counties. This chart was first published in the September 2010 issue of Amber Waves magazine.