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USDA: SHARE OF OFF-FARM INCOME VARIES BY COMMODITY SPECIALIZATION
Source: USDA news release



Farm households obtain income from farming and off-farm income, such as salaries, pensions, and investment interest. Among farm businesses, off-farm wage and salary income varied by commodity specialization.

For general crops, beef cattle, and poultry operations, average off-farm wage and salary income contributed more than half of total household income.

Dairy operations, by comparison, averaged $37,339 in off-farm wage and salary income, the lowest of any commodity. Dairy operations require extensive and ongoing time commitments, so managing a dairy farm rarely permits an operator to work many hours off-farm.

As a result, dairy farm households relied primarily on income from the operation, an average of $148,831 in 2019.

This chart is based on data from the ERS data product ARMS Farm Financial and Crop Production Practices, updated December 2020.


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