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Abstract

As of December 1977, 10 States had enacted legislation restricting corporate farming (farm operations, vertical integration, and ownership of farmland). The statutes’ main intent was to protect the family farmer from competition by large agribusiness firms. Those statutes are described and their effectiveness analyzed. The available data on corporate farming operations, from the census of agriculture and the Internal Revenue Service, suggest that the State statutes may be premature; corporate farms with more than 10 shareholders account for only 5 percent of total U.S. agricultural sales. Thus, some States concerned with the encroachment of corporate farming are considering enactment of reporting laws to collect more specific information.

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