In sea of small farms, big farms are volume producers

Some 90 percent of the 2.1 million farms in the United States are small operations with less than $350,000 a year in gross cash farm income, says a new USDA publication, "America's Diverse Family Farms."

Higher costs for farmers when interest rates rise

If the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, "it will mean higher costs for many producers" at a point when farm income is falling and growers are making increased use of credit, says Brent Gloy at Agricultural Economic Insights.

A farm school that emphasizes business acumen

“It’s no longer enough to know how to run a farm,” says Civil Eats in a story about the Grange Farm School in rural Mendocino County, California. “To be successful, farmers also need to learn how to run a business,” so there are classes on sales, marketing, accounting and regulation as well as …

Strain on Colorado River worries Arizona growers

“If you eat a green salad between Thanksgiving and April, whether in Minnesota, Montreal or Modesto, odds are good some of it was grown in or around Yuma [Arizona],” says the Los Angeles Times in a story about the competing demands for water that drain the Colorado River. “Nearly 40 million …

Market is glutted with used farm equipment

With commodity prices down, sales of used farm equipment are drying up as farmers guard their checkbooks, says DTN. The loss of "bonus" depreciation, which allowed a faster write-off of equipment purchases, also deters sales.

Is North Dakota’s “ham and cheese” farm exemption too big?

The largest farm group in North Dakota will decide next week whether to seek a statewide referendum against the so-called ham-and-cheese exemptions to a state law against corporate farming, says the Associated Press.

Using radio as a farmer-knowledge tool

The Canadian charity Farm Radio International says getting farmers and farm science on the air in sub-Saharan Africa can improve the adoption of new and more productive agricultural practices, reports SciDev.Net.

Family farms – 97 percent of US total, 84 percent of sales

U.S. agriculture is dominated by family-owned farms, said the USDA in its "five facts to know about family farms." The 2012 Census of Agriculture found 97 percent of the 2.1 million farms in the country are family farms, and...

U.S. tally of farms dips by nearly 1 percent, to 2.084 million

The government estimates there are 2.084 million farms in the country, down nearly 1 percent from last year due to a drop in the number of the very smallest farms, those with less than $10,000 in annual sales.

Obama mentions farm use while discussing drone rules

In a CNN interview, President Obama called for regulations for drones to ensure "that we get the good and minimize the bad." The president commented one day after a two-foot wide drone crashed on the White House grounds.