Big farms, with at least $1 million in sales, dominate U.S. crop production, say USDA economists who studied farm consolidation trends. In dollar value, half of U.S. crops come from the biggest farms, compared with 31% in 1991. Consolidation occurred in most crop and livestock sectors but not in grazing and pastureland, said James Macdonald and Robert Hoppe.
President Trump vowed to make it up to farmers if they suffer Chinese retaliation and told Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to write a plan to protect farmers and U.S. agricultural interests.
Due to a surge in sales last year, the U.S. is the No. 1 beef supplier to South Korea for the first time since mad cow disease was discovered in Washington state in 2003.
For the third year in a row, U.S. net farm income will be steady at roughly $60 billion, half of the peak of 2013, says the University of Missouri think tank FAPRI.
Personable and folksy, Perdue will mark his first year at USDA at the end of April as a popular leader, one of the few USDA chiefs who worked in agriculture as an adult.