Trends in ag

USDA report highlights farm revenues, cropland value and conservation

In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service released a report that assesses important trends and changes within the agriculture industry nationwide. Notable findings of the Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators report include:

• Since 2015, cropland value has declined by nearly 5 percent. Pastureland values have remained stable, however.

• While 89 percent of farms were considered small (with a gross revenue of less than $350,000) in 2017, 39 percent of production was generated by the 3 percent of farms with at least $1 million in gross revenue.

• Organic retail sales generated approximately $49 billion in 2017. The number of certified organic operations more than doubled between 2006 and 2016.

• Acreage enrolled in the USDA Conservation Reserve Program—a federal program that offers rental payment to farmers who protect environmentally sensitive land—declined from 29.5 million acres in 2012 to 22.4 million acres in 2018.