The Changing Organization and Well-Being of Midsize U.S. Farms, 1992-2014

This study uses data from the Census of Agriculture and the Agricultural Resource Management Survey to investigate the well-being and changing organization of U.S. midsize farms from 1992 to 2014. During this period, changes in midsize farms reflect a farm economy experiencing rapid technological development, rising costs of produc - tion, and the increasing profitability of larger farms. While the number of midsize farm operations has declined slightly since 1992, they constituted 21 percent of total production in 2014. During the study period, total production on midsize farms has shifted toward grain and oilseed crops, hogs, and poultry and away from dairy and high-value crops. The households operating midsize farms have been transformed as well, enjoying more diversified income portfolios and much higher net worth. Moreover, midsize farms have less debt relative to their assets. Using census data from 2007 and 2012, the authors find that one-third of midsize farms saw their income increase or decrease by more than 50 percent. During this same period, Government payments played a small but positive role in the survival of midsize cash-grain and oilseed farms. One common growth pathway for these farms that increased in size from 2007 to 2012 was renting greater amounts of land.

Issue Date:
Oct 01 2016
Publication Type:
DOI and Other Identifiers:
Record Identifier:
Total Pages:
Series Statement:
Economic Research Report Number 219

 Record created 2017-08-21, last modified 2020-10-28

Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)