50 Fascinating Facts About Farming in America

Since simply after World War II, the variety of individuals employed in agriculture has dropped by half. Most of America’s farms are small and almost all are family-run—however they’re additionally disappearing. In 1935, the number of farms peaked at almost 7 million. By 2019, that quantity had dropped to about 2.02 million farms.

COVID-19 put extra strain on an already strained business: In March 2020, farm bankruptcies jumped by 23 percent. And in the 12-month interval ending June 30, 2020, 580 American farmers filed for chapter 12 bankruptcy protection. Issues in the course of the pandemic included all the things from breakdowns in the provision chain to the closures of processing vegetation.

There are about 2 million US farms
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To discover out extra about this advanced and important business, Stacker compiled a gallery of 50 information about U.S. farming. We’ve relied on authoritative sources that embrace the American Farm Bureau Federation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and business and commerce teams.

In 1870, about half of all Americans had jobs in agriculture, in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) experiences that farmworkers comprise less than 1 percent of salary workers in the U.S. Nevertheless, manufacturing continues to be enormous. U.S. farmers increase a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of egg-laying hens, harvest hundreds of thousands of tons of vegetables and fruit, and maintain the remainder of the world provided with corn, wheat, and soybeans. A single acre of land can develop 50,000 kilos of strawberries or 3,000 kilos of wheat, in accordance with the American Farm Bureau Federation; and in 2020 alone, an estimated $135 billion in U.S. agricultural merchandise have been exported around the globe regardless of disruptions to the provision chain.

Keep studying to seek out extra fascinating information about farming in the United States.

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Farmers in the US are overwhelmingly white
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There are about 2 million US farms

Roughly 3 million individuals work for the nation’s greater than 2 million farms. Nearly all of those farms are family-run.

A farm classification relies on a financial threshold

The USDA defines a farm as a spot producing and promoting not less than $1,000 of agricultural merchandise in a yr (or one that might have underneath regular situations). Farm measurement is measured by gross money farm earnings or GCFI.

90 p.c of US farms are small

In the United States, a farm is taken into account small if its gross earnings is lower than $350,000 a yr. Nine out of 10 farms in the country rank as small, accounting for 52 p.c of the land and 26 p.c of manufacturing.

American farmland is worth $2 trillion
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Large-scale household farms characterize simply 2.5 p.c of US farms however account for greater than 50 p.c of American produce

Large-scale household farms are those who earn between $1 million and $4.9 million a yr. They comprise simply 2.5 p.c of U.S. farms—however account for over two-thirds of dairy manufacturing and greater than half of fruit and vegetable manufacturing.

Farmers in the US are overwhelmingly white

All however roughly 5 p.c of American farmers are white, in accordance with the 2017 federal census of U.S. farms. The variety of Hispanic farmers has grown to 112,451, whereas solely about 46,000 U.S. farmers are Black.

Women today comprise a third of all US farm operators
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One US farm can feed 166 individuals

Based on this common, farmers around the world will have to grow about 70 percent more food than they do now in order to fulfill calls for by the yr 2050. At that time, the worldwide inhabitants is predicted to extend by 2.2 billion.

American farmland is value $2 trillion

The U.S. has more than 900 million acres of farmland with an actual property worth of greater than $2 trillion. As the variety of farms has decreased, the typical land measurement for the typical farm has elevated.

Women at the moment comprise a 3rd of all US farm operators

The number of women farm operators spiked by 27 p.c between 2012 and 2017, in accordance with the federal government’s farming census. Today, greater than half of all farms in this nation boast not less than one girl making enterprise choices.

Agriculture represents 1% of our GDP
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Agriculture represents 1 p.c of our GDP

The top farm products in the U.S. are cattle, corn, and soybeans. Agricultural exports from the United States in 2019 have been valued at about $135.5 billion.

Commercial egg farms produce greater than 65 billion eggs annually

A hen can lay about 250 eggs a yr. China is the biggest egg producer in the world, with roughly 160 billion a yr.

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Soybean manufacturing is essential to creating crayons

Most of the soybeans grown in the U.S. go towards feeding livestock, however they’re additionally used in the manufacturing of different items like crayons. One acre of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons.

Every baseball requires 150 yards of wool

The United States is house to 47 breeds of sheep. One pound of wool could make 10 miles of yarn. Inside a baseball, the core is wrapped in 150 yards of wool yarn.

The invention of the wheat combine in 1934 changed farming forever
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Windbreaks present safety for American fruit farms

Tall, dense traces of timber are sometimes planted across the edges of fruit farms. They act as windbreaks to guard timber and assist forestall soil erosion.

45.6 million acres of US cropland was used for wheat in 2019

One bushel of wheat weighs about 60 kilos and comprises about 1 million particular person kernels. It can yield about 42 kilos of white flour, 60 kilos of complete wheat flour, about 45 24-ounces containers of wheat flake cereal, or about 42 kilos of pasta. More than 45 million acres of cropland was used to grow wheat in 2019.

The invention of the wheat mix in 1934 modified farming without end

American Hiram Moore’s invention of the wheat mix allowed for the automated technique of eradicating wheat heads from stems and separating out the kernels. Each head on a stem of wheat contains about 50 kernels. Wheat is able to be harvested when it dries out and turns golden.

Most farmers need outside work to make ends meet
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Dairy cows in the US produced 218 billion kilos of milk in 2018

On common, a dairy cow produces 6.3 gallons of milk a day and 46,000 glasses of milk a yr. It takes 350 squirts to make a gallon of milk. As with any mammal, to supply milk a cow should give start. Calves are separated from their moms in order that milk will be siphoned off for business manufacturing. Dairy calves are sometimes impregnated yearly.

Net losses at US farms are on the rise

The variety of U.S. farms reporting net losses between 2012 and 2017 rose 1.2 p.c to 1.15 million. The variety of farms reporting web income dropped 8.3 p.c to fewer than 900,000. The median household income among all farms was about $76,000 in 2017, increased than the median $61,000 for all households.

Farmers are getting older

The average age of an American farmer is 58, up 1.2 years in half a decade. The common age of an natural farmer, in the meantime, is 52.

Most farmers want exterior work to make ends meet

Only two in five small farmers in the United States turn a profit each year, and about two-thirds work one other job. Slightly greater than half of U.S. farms are very small, with annual gross sales of lower than $10,000.

Less than 1% of US farmland is organic
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Less than 1 p.c of US farmland is natural

The average size of an organic farm is 285 acres, far lower than the typical of 444 acres for all U.S. farms. The overwhelming majority of the natural meals consumed in the U.S. is imported.

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California farms 20% of America’s organic land
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California farms 20 p.c of America’s natural land

California has 2,700 natural farms, about one-fifth of the nation’s whole natural land. Only two different states—Wisconsin and New York—have greater than 1,000 natural farms.

Cotton throughout the South

Cotton is grown in 17 states from Virginia to California. Arizona alone grows sufficient cotton annually to make greater than one pair of jeans for every American.

The US accounts for 75 p.c of world cranberry manufacturing

Nearly three-quarters of all cranberries are grown in the U.S., largely in Wisconsin, in addition to in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington. It takes about 4,400 cranberries to make a gallon of juice.

The US economic system has left behind farm and ranch households

Farm and ranch families make up less than 2 percent of the U.S. population—down from 70 p.c in 1840. That dramatic shift in America’s workforce exhibits an entire metamorphosis in the nation’s economy, once largely dependent on agriculture.

The US accounts for 75% of global cranberry production
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The US is the world’s third-biggest meals provider

About 40 percent of the land in the United States is used for agriculture, together with cropland and pastureland. U.S. farmers produce 10 p.c of the world’s wheat and 20 p.c of the world’s beef, pork, and lamb.

US peanut farmers produce 3 million tons of peanuts annually

Peanut farmers in the U.S. produce their crops on about 1.5 million acres of land. About half the country’s peanuts come from Georgia. Runner peanuts are used largely in peanut butter, whereas Virginia and Spanish peanuts are sometimes used for snacks and Valencia peanuts are used largely for roasting and boiling.

Over 92 p.c of land in Nebraska is farmland

With over 45 million acres of farmland, Nebraska has the best share of land devoted to farming in America. The remainder of the highest 5 states, in order, are South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, and Iowa.

Pennsylvania grows the most mushrooms
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Cattle characterize US farming’s largest sector

Over 600,000 farms acquired most of their earnings from cattle production. However, the variety of cattle operations fell 6 p.c between 2007 and 2012. There have been roughly 45 million cows in the U.S. in 1975; by 2014, that quantity fell to 29 million.

Pennsylvania grows probably the most mushrooms

Roughly two-thirds of mushrooms grown in the U.S. come from Pennsylvania, with California and Florida coming in second and third for manufacturing. There are 300 edible species of mushrooms, 30 of which have been domesticated and 10 of that are produced commercially.

Idaho grows a 3rd of all US potatoes

There’s a purpose the potato is the state vegetable of Idaho. The state grows a full third of potatoes in the U.S., bringing in an estimated $27 billion a yr. The state has virtually 26,000 farms producing over 180 items.

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The US is the world’s leader in corn production
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The US is the world’s chief in corn manufacturing

The United States accounts for a 3rd of all corn grown globally and is the largest corn exporter in the world. Other corn-producing giants are China and Brazil. The largest corn-growing states in the U.S. are Iowa and Illinois.

South Dakota grows probably the most sunflowers in the nation

South Dakota farmers in 2018 grew 975 million pounds of sunflowers, adopted by North Dakota with 739 million kilos. About 217,000 metric tons of sunflower seed oil was consumed in 2018 in the United States.

Washington is the largest grower of hops

Total U.S. production of hops, used in making beer, was about 107 million kilos in 2018. Washington state grew probably the most, at virtually 77 million kilos, whereas a distant second was Idaho with roughly 16 million kilos.

Wisconsin stands to lose the most in a dying dairy industry
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Contracts mitigate threat for American farmers

A 3rd of U.S. farm production incorporates contracts to handle threat, worth, high quality, and markets. Production contracts are extra widespread in livestock farming, together with most poultry, egg, and hog farms. In a advertising and marketing contract, usually used in tobacco and sugar beet farming, possession of the commodity stays with the farmer throughout manufacturing. In a manufacturing contract, the customer normally owns the commodity throughout manufacturing and the farmer is paid a price.

Texas has probably the most farms in the US

There are 248,416 registered farms and ranches in Texas. Women represent 37 percent of the state’s 408,506 producers.

Wisconsin stands to lose probably the most in a dying dairy business

Wisconsin has nearly 8,000 dairy farms, more than any other state. But as struggles proceed with declining milk costs, a transition to bigger farms, worldwide commerce points, and elevated charges of suicide amongst farmers, the state misplaced greater than 550 dairy farms in 2019 alone.

U.S leads in GMOs

The United States has by far the highest acreage of genetically modified crops worldwide together with maize, soybean, cotton, canola, sugar beets, alfalfa, papaya, squash, and potatoes. Nearly all U.S. soybeans are genetically modified to tolerate herbicides.

Hemp is becoming a huge US cash crop once again
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Georgia is not the largest peach producer

Georgia may be often called the “Peach State,” however California grows the most peaches. The Golden State produced 479,000 tons of peaches in 2018, the majority of the almost 652,000 tons grown nationwide.

1.12 million tons of strawberries have been grown in 2019

The United States grows probably the most strawberries of any nation in the world, producing round 1.12 million tons in 2019. Most have been grown in California, adopted by Florida.

Hemp is changing into an enormous US money crop as soon as once more

Hemp got here to North America in 1606. The plant’s myriad makes use of led to its use as a staple crop: Farmers have been truly legally sure to develop hemp all through the 1700s. The plant wants no pesticides and little water, and its lengthy roots assist forestall erosion and retain topsoil. Several states, together with Colorado, Kentucky, and Vermont, allow farmers once again to grow hemp crops.

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Tractors overtook horses and mules by 1954
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The Dust Bowl swept away greater than 100 million acres of soil

The Dust Bowl lasted for a few decade and left a whole lot of 1000’s of individuals destitute. It was brought on by intense drought and negligent farming practices that left land inclined to wind erosion.

Early settlers realized to develop maize from indigenous tribes

Farming started round 10,000 B.C. when nomadic tribes began rising crops. Among the earliest crops were wheat, barley, peas, lentils, chickpeas, and flax. In the U.S. early settlers grew barley, peas, and maize, which native American tribes taught the settlers learn how to develop.

Tractors overtook horses and mules by 1954

In 1954, the number of tractors on farms surpassed the number of horses and mules for the primary time. Technology and using tractors over animals marked the Second American Agricultural Revolution.

Farming provides millions of American jobs
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Jethro Tull’s seed drill

English agricultural engineer Jethro Tull invented the seed drill in 1701. Before that, seeds have been scattered by hand. Tull’s drill allowed seeds to be planted effectively in rows and helped American agriculture flourish.

Farming supplies hundreds of thousands of American jobs

Some 40 p.c of the world’s inhabitants works in agriculture, making it the biggest employer on the planet. Farming in the United States straight employs more than 2.6 million people.

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Goats are a rising enterprise in the U.S.

Goats were one of the first animals to be domesticated, and they’re raised for his or her wool, milk, and meat. Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky have probably the most meat goats, whereas Texas, California, Wisconsin, Iowa, and New York have the biggest dairy goat herds.

CSAs across the US are waning in popularity
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Organic income all through the U.S. are on the climb

Organic farming sometimes requires 2.5 times more labor than typical farming. But natural merchandise sometimes command increased costs and produce 10 occasions extra revenue.

CSAs throughout the US are waning in recognition

Community-supported agriculture, or CSA, was common in the Nineteen Nineties and early 2010s. With a CSA, a shopper subscribes to purchase a farm’s produce straight, sometimes in weekly deliveries. But CSAs are declining as giant grocery chains carry extra natural meals and online meal equipment subscriptions have proliferated.

(*50*)Most farmers’ markets source products within 50 miles
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Most farmers’ markets supply merchandise inside 50 miles

Nearly all U.S. farmers who promote at farmers’ markets work inside 50 miles of the place they promote their produce. Farmers who supply supermarkets typically live 1,500 miles away. On common, farmers get about 17 cents of every dollar that retailer customers spend on meals; these at farmers’ markets take house greater than 90 p.c of meals {dollars}.

Farm output has soared in the final 70 years

Technological improvements in animal and crop genetics, chemical substances, tools, and farm group continued, at the same time as the quantity of land and labor in farming fell. Still, whole U.S. farm output more than doubled between 1948 and 2015.

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