Fast Facts About Agriculture

2 million farms dot America’s rural landscape. About 99 percent of U.S. farms are operated by families – individuals, family partnerships or family corporations. America's Diverse Family Farms, 2016 Edition

One U.S. farm feeds 168 people annually in the U.S. and abroad. The global population is expected to increase to more than 9 billion by 2050, which means the world’s farmers will have to grow about 60 percent more food than what is now produced.

In 2015, $133.1 billion worth of American agricultural products were exported around the world. The United States sells more food and fiber to world markets than we import, creating a positive agricultural trade balance.

Farmers and ranchers receive only 16 cents out of every dollar spent on food at home and away from home. The rest goes for costs beyond the farm gate: wages and materials for production, processing, marketing, transportation and distribution. In 1980, farmers and ranchers received 31 cents.

About 23 percent of raw U.S. farm products are exported each year.

Farm and ranch families comprise just 2 percent of the U.S. population.

One in three U.S. farm acres is planted for export.

31 percent of U.S. gross farm income comes directly from exports.

U.S. farm programs typically cost each American just pennies per meal and account for less than one-half of 1 percent of the total U.S. budget.

Americans enjoy a food supply that is abundant, affordable overall and among the world’s safest, thanks in large part to the efficiency and productivity of America’s farm and ranch families.

Today’s farmers produce 262 percent more food with 2 percent fewer inputs (labor, seeds, feed, fertilizer, etc.), compared with 1950.

Information on this page was originally published in AFBF’s Food & Farm Facts book (2015 edition) and may be shared via social media, etc.