Family Farming Operations

Family Farming Operations

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. The USDA’s Economic Research Service released the 2022 edition of its America’s Farms and Ranches at a Glance Report, which provides the latest statistics on U.S. farms, including farm household finances.

ERS Ag Economist, Noah Miller says the numbers show U.S. farming is still overwhelmingly a family business …

MILLER … “98 percent of U.S. farms are family-owned and operated, and they accounted for over 80 percent of total value production. Of these family farms, small family farms were the largest group accounting for 89 percent of all farms and operating 45 percent of all agricultural land.”

Many of the smaller farms Miller says, are feeling the pinch …

MILLER … “The share of farms with a low-risk operating profit margin, OPM, varied by farm size in 2021. 54 percent of large family farms had low-risk OPMs, while, on average, only 18 percent of small-scale farms fell in this category.”

Miller says, this indicates smaller farms are at higher risk of financial stress, but overall, farm incomes remain strong …

MILLER … “Farm households in general are neither low income nor low wealth. The median total income of all US family farm households was over $20,000 greater than the median income of all US households in 2021, with median total household income for all family farms Increasing by over $10,000 from the previous year.”

Working capital, the amount of cash available to pay operating expenses after paying off debt, is forecast to be down 1.4% in 2022 when adjusted for inflation.

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