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Honored Advisor

Re: New Typology For What Is A Family Farm

No wrong,but maybe inaccurate. I think there has long been a baseline definition of farm, predicated upon so ,any dollars grossed per year. I know that is on our zoning code, based on state definition of a " bona fide farm". It is cut and dried.

I doubt that anyone really checks to see if you are what you say you are, anyway.
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Senior Advisor

Re: New Typology For What Is A Family Farm

It doesn't take a thousand acres to make a living. Too many people are doing just that.

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Honored Advisor

Re: New Typology For What Is A Family Farm

 

I found this to be a very interesting read on the subject.  It dealt with the realities of size in agriculture and the data "used" by usda.  And if you study it, it will show you how retirement programs like CRP have distorted, or should I say, masked the changes in agriculture over the last 40 years.

 

And naturally usda does not accept anyone elses definition of anything.---------------- When definitions have to be redefined on a regular basis---------- I get nervous-------- sorry, just me.

 

in this usda study I noticed that of the 2.08 million farms as defined by usda, 1.2 million of them are considered unproductive.

 

http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/450362/eib49b_1_.pdf

 

 

Best document I have seen on the issue

Quotes from the study:

 

The diversity of U.S. farms complicates agricultural statistics as well as the design of Federal farm programs. 

 

1.7 percent of all farms generated nearly half of all agricul- tural sales in 2006 

 

Fewer than 10% of all farms sell more product value than expenses incurred

 

Half of all farms had sales less than $6,600 

 

the term “actively engaged” has been used by some government agencies as a very precise term with explicit specific applications toward policy goals, others (including poli- cymakers) have used the term in a broader sense to capture the spirit of the level of involvement of an individual, household, or entity in farming. 

 

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Highlighted
Senior Advisor

Re: New Typology For What Is A Family Farm

Here is an interesting interpretation of a major difference between 1970's agriculture and today.

http://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/2013/05/current-1970-farm-prosperity-cash-expenses.html

 

They are saying that the current American farmer, via CRP, is paid to be an envirionmental steward as well as food and fuel.  Yes, there is no doubt that many people would like to define the term "family farm" to suit their purposes.

 

"Summary Observations

The different time paths of interest expense and land planted to principal crops are major differences between the current and 1970 periods of farm prosperity. The muted increase in interest expense during the current period of prosperity has positively impacted net farm income and allowed farms to avoid debt. However, the muted increase in interest expense also means that any downturn in crop revenue will result in a cost-price squeeze between crop prices and the prices of crop production inputs. A key question could become how much flexibility do crop farms have when buying crop inputs. The sharp decline in crop prices in 2009 led farms to delay input purchases. This event could foreshadow a far more intense confrontation if, probably when not if, a longer lasting decline in crop prices occur. In short, crop input suppliers may bear far more of this adjustment process than they did during the 1980s, when declining debt and interest expenses bore more of the adjustment.

The lack of expansion in planted acres in the U.S. implies that the often-referenced food vs. fuel debate is an inaccurate characterization of the situation confronting U.S. agriculture in the 21st Century. U.S. crop agriculture has become not only a provider of food and fuel but also a provider of environmental services, such as reduced water and wind erosion and improved wildlife habitats. In other words, 21st Century Agriculture is not just characterized by an expansion into the fuel market but also by an expansion into the environmental services market. Hence, it is not a food vs. fuel dilemma but a food vs. fuel vs. environmental services dilemma. It is not unreasonable to conjecture that crop prices would be notably lower and livestock profits notably higher if all the land in CRP was in production. This observation is not a criticism of farm environmental programs. Instead, it is pointing out a fundamental difference between the current and 1970 periods of farm prosperity -- the willingness of contemporary American society to continue to support farm-based environmental services in a period of high farm commodity prices. To put this observation somewhat differently, are the events of the last 7 years asking us to ponder this question, Is U.S. society as whole choosing farm environmental services over profitability of the U.S. livestock sector?

The next post in this series will further examine the expansion in production during the 1970 and current periods of farm prosperity.

This publication is also available at http://aede.osu.edu/publications

Issued by Carl Zulauf
Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics
 The Ohio State University"

Highlighted
Senior Advisor

Re: New Typology For What Is A Family Farm

Thousand acres at $125 an acre wouldn't go far would it rsw ---

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Highlighted
Honored Advisor

Re: New Typology For What Is A Family Farm

There is another thread in ag.com business section that asks a question about drones and "activist groups",  I have not read it, but the title has had my warped mind thinking, and Jim Meade, you have touched on the subject several times since your heart is in flying.

 

This thought kind of "nutshells" the whole mental question--------------  After studying the demographics of "farms" & "farmers" through the eyes of USDA, The statistic that leaves the "lump in the throat" is  -------- 170,000 farms produce 75% of all farm production.

 

Here's the question that is still there in this small mind------------ I wonder how many activist groups there are---------- I thought initially there might as many activist groups as there are farmers in the "170k producing 75% of our production".(which by the way is the farmers who produced over $250K worth of sales in 2006---before the big price run up)------- that's right only 170K farmers are selling $250K gross sales in 2006, according to the usda study.

But a little googling this morning convinced this "sheltered moron" that there is not enough air space above those 170,000 farms for all the drones if every activist organization had just one.

 

"How many activist organizations are there that gross over $250 K of revenue or even 500K----------------   I want to see that statistic-------"how many activist groups get gross donations of over $250,000 dollars per year compared to the number of farmers grossing at that level"?????

 

I have to ask one more------------------- What does a society in decline look like????

 

 

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