Publications

Sort by: Title | Date
  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    Indicators tables from the November 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Nearly Half of Sales Come From Million-Dollar Farms

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    About half of all U.S. farm commodity sales come from "million-dollar farms," with most of the farms classified as family farms.

  • Data Feature

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    The changing size distribution of farms makes it difficult to capture the trends in a simple measure, such as the average or median farm size, but an acre-weighted median reflects both the increasing concentration of production on large farms and the growth in the number of small farms.

  • Effects of Reducing the Income Cap on Eligibility for Farm Program Payments

    EIB-27, September 04, 2007

    Could a single program support farm income and encourage environmentally sound farm practices? ERS looks at some hypothetical program scenarios.

  • Profits, Costs, and the Changing Structure of Dairy Farming

    ERR-47, September 04, 2007

    ERS examines economic factors in the dramatic decline in the number of dairy farms over the past 15 years and the increasing concentration in the industry.

  • Economic Returns to Public Agricultural Research

    EB-10, September 04, 2007

    Over the last several decades, the U.S. agricultural sector has sustained impressive productivity growth. The Nation's agricultural research system, including Federal-State public research as well as private-sector research, has been a key driver of this growth. Economic analysis finds strong and consistent evidence that investment in agricultural research has yielded high returns per dollar spent. These returns include benefits not only to the farm sector but also to the food industry and consumers in the form of more abundant commodities at lower prices.

  • U.S. Ethanol Expansion Driving Changes Throughout the Agricultural Sector

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    A large expansion in ethanol production is underway in the United States, spurred by high oil prices and energy policies. Although corn is the primary feedstock used to produce ethanol in the United States, market adjustments to the ethanol expansion extend well beyond the corn sector to supply and demand for other crops, as well as to the livestock sector, farm income, government payments, and food prices. Adjustments in the agricultural sector to increased demand for biofuels will continue as interest grows in renewable sources of energy to lessen dependence on foreign oil.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    Indicators tables from the September 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    Research area charts from the September 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Managing Environmental Risk at the Rural-Urban Fringe

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    Concerns over environmental quality by nonfarm residents in close proximity to farms may influence farmers' choice of management practices. Detailed analysis of corn farms yields insight into this relationship and its implications for the use of cropland best management practices.

  • Productivity Drives Growth in U.S. Agriculture

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    U.S. agriculture relied entirely on growth in total factor productivity (TFP) rather than input accumulation to expand output between 1948 and 2004. TFP growth in agriculture accounted for 12 percent of all TFP growth in the U.S. private economy between 1960 and 2004.

  • Lowering the Income Cap for Farm Payments Would Affect Few Farmers

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    Policymakers have proposed lowering the $2.5-million income eligibility cap for farm program payments. An ERS analysis of a $200,000 adjusted gross income cap, the lowest proposed cap, shows that about 1.5 percent of all farms potentially would be affected by a $200,000 cap.

  • Latest Indicators Point to Continued Strength of Farm Finances

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2007

    U.S. agriculture relied entirely on growth in total factor productivity (TFP) rather than input accumulation to expand output between 1948 and 2004. TFP growth in agriculture accounted for 12 percent of all TFP growth in the U.S. private economy between 1960 and 2004.

  • The Importance of Farm Program Payments to Farm Households

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2007

    Less than half of all farms-43 percent in 2005-receive farm program payments. Large family farms represent 8 percent of all farms but they receive 58 percent of commodity program payments going to farms. Two-thirds of recipient farms receive less than $10,000 in payments, accounting for only 7 percent of their gross cash farm. Payments represent 13 percent of gross cash farm income for those that receive more than $30,000 in payments.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2007

    Indicators tables from the June 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Structure and Finances of U.S. Farms: Family Farm Report, 2007 Edition

    EIB-24, June 01, 2007

    U.S. farms are diverse, ranging from small retirement and residential farms to enterprises with annual sales in the millions. Nevertheless, most U.S. farms-98 percent in 2004-are family farms. Even the largest farms tend to be family farms. Large-scale family farms and nonfamily farms account for 10 percent of U.S farms, but 75 percent of the value of production. In contrast, small family farms make up most of the U.S. farm count, produce a modest share of farm output, and receive substantial off-farm income. Many farm households have a large net worth, reflecting the land-intensive nature of farming.

  • In The Long Run

    Amber Waves, May 01, 2007

    Farm population has fallen steadily as a share of total U.S. population for more than a century. Less than half the U.S. population has lived on farms since these data were first collected in 1880.

  • Experience Counts: Farm Business Survival in the U.S.

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2007

    Farming, like other businesses, exhibits high turnover, with many thousands of existing farms going out of business each year. As in other industries, new farm businesses enter at a high rate and new entrants subsequently exit at high rates, irrespective of the size of the farm or the age of the operator. Exit rates fall as businesses age to 5-9 years old, and then fall again, although modestly, for more experienced farm businesses. Experience seems to provide an important advantage to well-established businesses that can learn quickly and efficiently.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2007

    Indicators tables from the April 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2007

    Resource area charts from the April 2007 issue of Amber Waves.