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Modern US Family Farms: Present Conditions and Enlightenments (No. 7, 2020)


By Xiao Junyan, Research Department of Rural Economy, DRC

Research Report, No. 7, 2020 (Total 5751) 2020-1-17

Abstract: According to the Family Farm Report released by US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2017, the lion’s share of US agriculture is still in the hands of family industry. In the 2.04 million farms across the country, 97.8 percent belong to family farms with a farmland accounting for 93.5 percent of the total and an agricultural output taking up 87 percent of the national aggregate. The average income of all US family farms is higher than the median income of the household earnings, and the value of household assets of most US farms is higher than the median value of assets occupied by all the households. The US family farms are diverse in terms of types and scales, including small, medium and large ones, among which large and medium ones only make up a small number. The farms are engaged in agricultural production, sideline occupation or both businesses. China’s agricultural sector and its operation entities are experiencing profound changes and advancing swiftly towards agricultural modernization. The operations of US family farms can make good reference for the future development of China’s agricultural entities in operation. With complex and different operating conditions, China’s agricultural operation entities have made innovative changes and related departments need to implement more inclusive policies. Efforts are needed to improve the income of operation entities, focusing on agricultural production and combine regulation and flexible management through relevant policy measures so as to ensure long-term stable development of China’s agricultural industry in the course of modernization.

Key words: US agriculture, family farms, enlightenments