U.S. Growers Spend Big Bucks In 2008

U.S. farm production expenditures totaled $307 billion in 2008, according to the “Farm Production Expenditures 2008 Summary” released by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Total farm expenditures for 2008 rose 8.3 percent from the revised 2007 total of $284 billion — a slower increase than the prior year.

The NASS expenditures report shows that the largest dollar increases per farm were feed up $2,325; fertilizer, lime, and soil conditioners up $2,208; tractors and self-propelled machinery up $1,286; and rent up $1,252. All other average increases were less than $1,200 per farm.

To provide a more in depth look at operations in the highest economic class by gross value of sales, NASS divided the category of operations with $1 million or more in sales into two classes: farms with $1 million – $4,999,999 in gross sales and those with $5 million and over. Average per farm production expenditures for operations in the $5 million and over class totaled $11.4 million, 6.4 times larger than those in the $1 million – $4,999,999 class. Farms in this second to highest class averaged $1.8 million in production expenditures, followed by the $500,000 – $999,999 economic class averaging $0.7 million.

NASS revised its 2007 farm production expenditures estimates based on data collected during the 2007 Census of Agriculture. The revised 2007 farm production expenditures estimate increased $23.5 billion from the preliminary estimate to reflect current data on the number of farms in the U.S. As reported in the “Farms, Land in Farms, and Livestock Operations 2008 Summary,” the number of farms in the United States in 2007 was 2,204,950, revised up from 2,075,510.

The increase in the number of farms had the greatest impact on the following farm production expenditure categories: livestock and poultry ($6.3 billion); feed ($3.8 billion); labor ($2.6 billion); and farm services ($2.5 billion).

(Source: USDA)

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