AgFacts to Ruminate

Q: Which are the top 10 agricultural producing States?

A: The top 10 agricultural producing States, in terms of cash receipts are (in descending order): California, Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, North Carolina, Indiana, and Missouri.

Q: What are the leading farm commodities in the United States, in terms of cash receipts?

A: Cattle and calves producers earned the largest receipts, followed by producers of corn, soybeans, dairy products, and broilers.

Q: Are family farms disappearing?

A: No. In fact, family farms have accounted for a large majority of farm numbers and agricultural sales since the 1970s. But as production shifts to larger farms, family-owned farm businesses often become incorporated. Family corporations (having more than half the voting stock held by individuals related by blood or marriage) account for about a fifth of farm sales.

Q: How does farm household income compare with the income of other U.S. households?

A: Since the mid-1990s, the income of the average farm household has surpassed that of nonfarm households, and farm household income today derives from a number of income sources. The financial well-being of farm households today depends less on the income from the farm business and more on the availability of remunerative off-farm employment.

Q: Which States have the largest number of food processing plants?

A: California has the largest number of food manufacturing plants, followed by New York and Texas.

Q: How does U.S. beef consumption today compare with consumption in the 1970s?

A: Americans are consuming less beef per capita than in the 1970s, or in the 1980s. We’re also, per capita, consuming more food overall.

Q: What is the value of U.S. agricultural exports and U.S. agricultural imports?

A: U.S. agriculture enjoys a trade surplus, with the value of exports exceeding imports. The level of the surplus has changed over time, with increasing agricultural imports.

Q: How important are exports to the U.S. agricultural sector?

A: Trade is essential to the U.S. agricultural sector, with agricultural exports accounting for more than 20 percent of the volume of U.S. agricultural production.

Q: How important are imports to U.S. food and agricultural markets?

A: In recent years, the import share of food consumed in the United States has climbed to more than 10 percent. The aggregate share of fruit and vegetable imports is at least twice as large as that of animal products.

Q: What types of farm operations receive government payments?

A: Diversity within the farm sector results in an unbalanced distribution of all government payments (including commodity and conservation programs). Farm size (acreage), location, types of commodities produced, and operator and household characteristics are among the factors associated with allocation of government payments.

via ERS/USDA – About ERS – Frequently Asked Questions.

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4 Comments

  1. We are a family farm and part of a family corporation. Thanks for letting people know that when they hear “corporate” farms, it’s not just some name to a business. I think hog producers producers suffer under this incorrect labeling. Very good points!

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