Farming is still a major family business, new data shows

New USDA data shows farming is still overwhelmingly a family business.

The “America’s Farms and Ranches At A Glance Report” shows 98 percent are family-owned and operated, accounting for more than 80 percent of total value production.

Large-scale family farms make up 46 percent of production value and hold 27 percent of ag land. Non-family farms make up just two percent of farms, and that number has held steady since 2020. Economists say the number of farms with a low-risk operating profit margin varies.

“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,” said Research Economist, Noah Miller.

The report showed in general, farm households were neither low-income nor low-wealth when compared to the median income for all U.S. households.