Family Farms Produce Most Poultry and Eggs, And Hay

USDA’s Economic Research Service reports most values of cotton, dairy and specialty crops are produced on large-scale family farms, according to 2020 data.

USDA defines a family farm as one in which the principal operator and related family own the majority of the assets used in the operation.

Large-scale family farms have an annual gross cash farm income of $1 million or more.

However, small family farms produced the bulk of hay production, 59%, and poultry and egg output, 49%, in 2020.

Poultry operations are often classified as “small” because most output is under a production contract arrangement, with a contractor paying a fee to a farmer who raises poultry to maturity.

Additionally, more than one-quarter of beef production occurred on small family farms that generally have cow/calf operations.

Another 42% of beef production occurred on large-scale family farms, which are more likely to operate feedlots.