February 2022 - 6

EDITOR'S LETTER
Numbers tell ag's story
A new report from the USDA shows the percentage of farms that are
small and family owned is staying steady, but they produce less and are
more financially risky.
The USDA Economic Research Service in early January released its
latest America's Diverse Family Farms
report, which provides current statistics on
U.S. farms, including production, financial
performance, size and ownership.
Authors Christine Whitt, Jessica E. Todd
and Andrew Keller concluded that farming
is still overwhelmingly a family business.
Ninety-eight percent of U.S. farms are
family farms, and they account for 87% of
farm production.
Among the findings in the report is that
the percentage of farms that are small and
family owned remained unchanged from
2011 to 2020, holding steady at 89% of all
farms.
Gary Pullano
Editor
The USDA defines a small farm as one with gross annual income less
than $350,000 and as family owned when the majority of the business is
owned by a single family and is operated by a family member.
The USDA report shows that smaller farms are becoming increasingly
fragile economically.
The report quantified farms in terms of the financial risk they took on
every year. Small family-owned farms are becoming more reliant upon
non-farm income, such as a spouse having an outside job, to continue
farming.
While small family farms saw their financial risk over the past 10 years
increase, large and corporate-owned farms saw their risk decrease. Some
small family farms in each type operate at the low-risk zone, as do more
than 37% of midsize, large and very large family farms.
How farm specializations allocate their expenses did not change
dramatically between 2011 and 2020. Farm households, in general, are
neither low income nor low wealth. In 2020, median farm household
income, which includes both farm and off-farm income sources,
exceeded that for all U.S. households, but it was lower than the median
income of all U.S. households with self-employment income. About 41%
of farm households had income below that of the median for all U.S.
households, and 3% had wealth less than the U.S. median in 2020.
Researchers found the share of farm operations having reported
participating in direct sales fell from 8% in 2019 to 7% in 2020. However,
total direct sales amounted to about $10.7 billion in 2020, which is $2.8
billion, or 35%, higher than in 2019.
Direct sales to restaurants and grocery stores made up the largest
share of direct sales in 2020 - 42% - and witnessed a nearly $500 million
increase in sales from 2019. Likely due to institutional shutdowns in
response to COVID-19, direct sales to institutions saw an 86% decline
in sales in 2020. Sales at farmers' markets, on-farm stores, u-pick,
roadside stands and the like, as well as through regional distributors
or aggregators, saw an increase in 2020 relative to 2019. Over half of
all farm family households had at least one person with an off-farm
job. Eleven percent of all farm households reported either a loss of - or
furlough from - an off-farm job in 2020, and 4% of all farm households
received unemployment benefits.
Most of the pandemic assistance to agriculture was from the
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. Farms also received loans from the
Small Business Administration through the Paycheck Protection Program
and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
Very large family farms received a greater share of their pandemic
assistance from SBA loans, likely because they employed more workers
and are also more likely to earn a profit in any given year.
Overall, 14% of farms participated in federal crop insurance in 2020.
Indemnities from federal crop insurance were roughly proportional
to acres of harvested cropland. Midsize and large-scale family farms
together accounted for 65% of all program harvested acres and received
77% of indemnities from federal crop insurance in 2020.
Next-gen ag workers curriculum funded
Western Growers received a $750,000 grant
from the California Department of Food and
Agriculture's 2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant
Program to develop and implement a curriculum
to provide California college students with bestin-class
agtech training.
Vegetable
Growers
News.com
WATCH. READ. SHARE
VEGETABLEGROWERSNEWS.COM
Clarity sought in revisions to US water rules
Farmers and ranchers are advocating for a
federal " waters of the United States " rule
under the Clean Water Act that is clear and
concise and maintains exemptions for normal
agricultural activities.
EFI reaches out to Midwest growers
Equitable Food Initiative, a certification and
skill-building organization that partners with
growers, farmworkers, retailers and consumer
advocacy groups, continues to provide tools
and resources for agricultural workforce
development. EFI will now bring a new focus
on the Midwest fresh fruit and vegetable
industry.
Risk management help set for producers
The USDA is investing up to $2 million
in cooperative agreements this year for
risk management education and training
programs that support historically underserved
producers, small-scale farmers and
conservation practices.
WANT TO HEAR MORE FROM VGN?
Sign up to receive our monthly e-newsletter, eVGN, featuring exclusive
articles, videos and photos not seen in the pages of VGN magazine.
Visit www.vegetablegrowersnews.com to sign up today.
facebook.com/
VegGrowersNews
THEY SAID IT
- ERIC MORGAN, BRAGA FRESG FAMILY FARMS INC.
We are able to get great crops off the beautiful land and
darn good crops from harder to manage soil. "
P. 19
4 | VegetableGrowersNews.com
twitter.com/
VGN_News
youtube.com/
TheVGNtv
linkedin.com/
showcase/vegetablegrowers-news
http://www.News.com http://www.VEGETABLEGROWERSNEWS.COM http://www.vegetablegrowersnews.com http://www.facebook.com/ http://www.twitter.com/ http://www.youtube.com/ http://www.linkedin.com/ http://www.VegetableGrowersNews.com

February 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of February 2022

February 2022 - 1
February 2022 - 2
February 2022 - 3
February 2022 - 4
February 2022 - 5
February 2022 - 6
February 2022 - 7
February 2022 - 8
February 2022 - 9
February 2022 - 10
February 2022 - 11
February 2022 - 12
February 2022 - 13
February 2022 - 14
February 2022 - 15
February 2022 - 16
February 2022 - 17
February 2022 - 18
February 2022 - 19
February 2022 - 20
February 2022 - 21
February 2022 - 22
February 2022 - 23
February 2022 - 24
February 2022 - 25
February 2022 - 26
February 2022 - 27
February 2022 - 28
February 2022 - 29
February 2022 - 30
February 2022 - 31
February 2022 - 32
February 2022 - 33
February 2022 - 34
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/vgn-digital-seed-guide-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyers-guide-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-october-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-august
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-june-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/april-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/vgn-digital-seed-guide-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyers-guide-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-october-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/august-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/june-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/seedguide-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyersguide-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/october-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/seedguide-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyersguide-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/october-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/august-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/june-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/april-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyersguide-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/october-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/august-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/june-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/april-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyersguide-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2019
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com