Statistical Bulletin No. (SB-968) 64 pp

June 2000

Characteristics of U.S. Wheat Farming: A Snapshot

Wheat growers' choice of production practices and geographic location were the major determinants of their costs of production, according to the findings of a 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. One-fourth of surveyed farms reported using some form of conservation tillage, especially farms in the North Central, Northern Plains, and Southeast regions. On a per-bushel basis, low-cost farms tended to be small in terms of wheat acreage and total farm acreage. Differences in capitalization, tenure, and the use of custom services accounted for nearly 81 percent of the variation in the cost of producing wheat. Most size economies were realized at around 200 to 300 wheat acres.

Keywords: Wheat, input use, production practices, farm characteristics, farm size, costs and returns, regression, low-cost farms, high-cost farms, cumulative distribution, operator budget

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