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Beginning farms and ranches accounted for 17 percent of all U.S. operations between 2013 and 2017. About a third of beginning farms produced at least $10,000 worth of output, compared with almost half of established farms. Because beginning farms tend to be smaller, they require less farm labor, earn less net farm income, and rely more on off-farm income. In 2017, 67 percent of beginning farm principal operators worked off the farm, compared with 45 percent of established farm operators. The spouse of a beginning farm principal operator was also more likely to work off the farm.


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