Vegetable Farms’ Earnings Surge By 82%

Clint ThompsonUSDA, Vegetables

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service Situation and Outlook Report, data from the 2022 Census of Agriculture showed a significant shift in the agricultural landscape.

Though the total number of vegetable and melon farms reduced, real sales per operation experienced a surge of 82%, climbing from an average of approximately $280,000 in 2017 to more than $500,000. The increase was driven by supply chain disruptions and increased input costs, which increased farmer prices and pushed many farming operations into higher sales brackets.

During the period from 2017 to 2022, operations with annual sales over $1 million rose 22%. Those with sales between $25,000 and $49,999 grew by 25%. Farms with lower earnings saw significant decreases; 52% for sales below $1,000; 34% for sales between $1,000 and $2,499; 33% for sales between $2,500 and $4,999; and 16% for sales between $5,000 and $9,999.

The trends reflect higher costs of production and high inflation in the vegetable sector.