Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-42) 47 pp

December 2008

Million-Dollar Farms in the New Century

Million-dollar farms-those with annual sales of at least $1 million-accounted for about half of U.S. farm sales in 2002, up from a fourth in 1982 (with sales measured in constant 2002 dollars). By 2006, million-dollar farms, accounting for 2 percent of all U.S. farms, dominated U.S. production of high-value crops, milk, hogs, poultry, and beef. The shift to million-dollar farms is likely to continue because they tend to be more profitable than smaller farms, giving them a competitive advantage. Most million-dollar farms (84 percent) are family farms, that is, the farm operator and relatives of the operator own the business. The million-dollar farms organized as nonfamily corporations tend to have no more than 10 stockholders.

Keywords: Contracting, family farms, farm businesses, farm financial performance, farm-operator household income, farm operators, farm structure, farm type, million-dollar farms

In this publication...