Million-Dollar Farms Dominate Production of Some Commodities by ProQuest

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									                                                                                                                                   FA R M S, F I R M S, A N D H O U S E H O L D S

                    F I N D I N G S

                      Million-Dollar Farms Dominate Production of Some Commodities
                          In 2007, 37,300 farms—2                                                                                                 tions, place them in feedlots
                     percent of U.S. farming opera-                                                                                               until they reach slaughter
                     tions—accounted for half of                                                                                                  weight, and ship them to
                     U.S. agricultural production,                                                                                                packers. Cow-calf enterprises
                     according to the Agricultural                                                                                                are typically found on small
                     Resource Management Survey.                                                                                                  farms. Million-dollar beef
                     These farms were million dollar                                                                                              farms—especially those with
                     farms—that is, they had sales of                                                                                             sales of at least $5 million—
                     $1 million or more. Operating                                                                                                are much more likely to be
                     profit margins are high for mil-                                                                                             fed-cattle operations.
                     lion-dollar farms, giving them a                                                                                                  Several      technological
                     competitive advantage (see                                                                                                   advances helped make live-
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                     chart, “Operating profit margins                                                                                             stock production (dairy, hogs,
                     for farms increase with sales,”                                                                                              poultry, and fed cattle) more
                     on page 43).                                                                                     Jeff Vanuga, USDA/NRCS           routine, making it easier
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                          Million-dollar farms Million-dollar farms accounted for large shares of dairy, hogs,                                         for farms to operate on a
                     accounted for roughly 60 high-value crops, poultry, and beef in 2007                                                              large scale. Milk and live-
                     to 70 percent of the                                                                                                              stock production moved
                                                                   Sales class:
                     production of five major                              $5,000,000 or more                     $250,000 to $499,999                 from an open environ-
                     commodities: dairy prod-                              $1,000,000 to $4,999,999               Less than $250,000                   ment to climate-con-
  8                                                                        $500,000 to $999,999                   (small farms)
                     ucts, hogs, high-value                                                                                                            trolled buildings, making
                     crops, poultry, and beef,       % of U.S. production Million-dollar farms                                                         production less depend-
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                                                    100
                     The largest million-dollar                                                                                                        ent on the weather.
                         
								
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