Farms Overwhelmingly Family Owned

Farming is still overwhelmingly comprised of family businesses according to the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS).

In its 2017 America’s Diverse Family Farms, the ERS says 99 percent of U.S. farms are family-owned and those accounted for 90 percent of farm production in 2016. Of that: 89.9 percent are small family farms, six percent are midsize, and 2.9 percent are large-scale family farms.

Small farms use about 51.6 percent of farmland, midsize farms use 21.2 percent of land, and large-scale farms operate on 18 percent of the land. But large-scale farms produce 45.2 percent of product value, compared to a near even 22 percent on small and midsize farms.

Only 1.2 percent of farms are not family owned, though they create about 10 percent of U.S. products. Nineteen percent of non-family farms had gross cash farm income (GCFI) of $1,000,000 or more, and they accounted for 88 percent of non-family farms’ production.