NC State Economist Mike Walden: Farm Size and Profits

Much to the dismay of many small family farms, farm size has risen over recent decades.  Why is this – are bigger farms simply more profitable?

  1. small family farms used to be the norm in the country
  2. today only 10% of farms are less than 10 acres in size
  3. big reason is productivity and profits
  4. large farms are better equipped to use modern and efficient farm equipment
  5. much of this equipment is simply too expensive for small operations
  6. so classic example of economies of scale
  7. but good news is that many small farms are making a comeback – producing specialty crops and engaged in urban agriculture