Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
Table 2.1
Features of modern North American agriculture: 1996-1997
Farm characteristics
United States (1997)
Canada (1996)
All farms
Number of farms
Land in farms
931,795,255 acres
168,167,475 acres
Total cropland
431,144,896 acres
86,286,078 acres
Average farm size
487 acres
608 acres
Value of land and buildings
Average farm value
Market value of products
Average sales per farm
Land owned by farmers
Land leased by farmers
Land sold in 1988
12,509,000 acres (3.2%)
Farms sold in 1988
37,590 farms (4.9%)
Sales > $100,000
Number of farms 345,988 83,140
Land in farms 526,974,339 acres NA
Average farm size 1,523 acres NA
Value of land and buildings $471,892,687,212 NA
Average farm value $1,363,899 NA
Market value of products $172,124,601,000 NA
Average sales per farm $497,487 NA
Land owned by farmers 53.9% NA
Sources: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. 1997 Census of Agriculture , United States Data, Chapter
1. Table 1. Historical Highlights: 1997 and earlier census years, p. 10. Land owned by farmers and land leased by
farmers come from Table 46. Summary by Tenure of Operator: 1997, p. 57. 1988 dates from 1988 Agricultural
Economics and Landownership Survey , Table 1, p. 2-2. Data for Canada from Catalogue #93-356-XPB, Table
1.1, Table 2.1, Table 2.2, Table 10.1, and Table 25.1, Table Catalogue #93-359-XPB. Dollar figures are in their
respective currencies. Farms
$100,000: USDA 1997 Census of Agriculture , U.S. Data, Chapter 1, Table 50
(Summary by market value of agricultural products sold: 1997), pp. 1, 9, 11. Statistics Canada. 1996 Census of
Agriculture. 1996 Agricultural Operation National and Provincial Highlights Tables (Canada Highlights).
Note: Some farmers lease out land, so the sum of the percentages may exceed 100 percent. NA = not available.
There is considerable variation in these numbers for the specific areas that we study.
In Nebraska and South Dakota where agriculture is still a dominant industry, over 80,000
farms remain. An average farmer uses approximately 1,200 acres of farmland and $80,000-
$90,000 of farm equipment. 9 The average value of each farm's land and buildings is close
to $500,00 in South Dakota and nearly $900,000 in Nebraska. Here the farmers grow such
crops as barley, corn, hay, soybeans, and wheat, and sell an average of well over $100,000 in
agricultural products each year. 10 Table 2.3 shows these figures for these two states as well
as for British Columbia and Louisiana. Compared to the Great Plains, farms in Louisiana
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