Changing Structure and Organization of US Agriculture
- Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems
- This article provides a brief description of general characteristics and changes in production agriculture over time. Key influences or drivers of change in structure and organization, as well as other significant drivers of change, are discussed. Detailed measures of farm size and structure are presented and discussed, including the evolution over time. Economics of different types and sizes of farms are explored, including the importance of off-farm income. The implications of significant trends and their challenges to the future structure and organization of agriculture conclude the article. Although this article is US specific in its measures used to reflect how the structure and organization of agriculture/farming are changing over time, the drivers of change affecting size, structure, and organization of agriculture are largely universal. Quite similar trends are evident throughout most developed countries and are increasingly evident in the emerging commercial farming sectors across Latin America, Africa, and in some other developing countries. The scale and speed of change varies depending on policy, social systems, and cultural preferences, but the key underlying drivers of change are rapidly shared in today’s global economy and interconnected world.