Characteristics of Farms with Sales of $40,000 or More, 1987-89

This report is the prototype for a new annual report that provides time-series data on the major structural features of the farm sector as portrayed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Costs and Returns Survey. Farm structural data are not available from any other national sources of data on an annual basis. We describe structural characteristics of U.S. commercial farms (farms with sales of $40,000 or more) and how they have changed over the 1987-89 period. The variables presented were selected to provide a comprehensive overview of the organization, resource base, and financial situation of the Nation's commercial farm sector. These variables fall into three basic categories: farm structure, land base and use, and farm financial and economic well-being. As expected, the data indicated no major changes in the primary structural variables over the short period examined in this report. Changes in these variables generally occur over a relatively long period of time. However, the financial variables that measure the income and wealth status of farms are more sensitive to current economic and policy shifts. Consequently, these variables fluctuated more on a year-to-year basis.

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 Record created 2018-10-18, last modified 2020-10-28

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