The US is one of the top four food producers in the world, followed by China, India, and Brazil. Farming contributed $132.8 billion to its economy, and the US has been one of the world’s largest food exporters.
So you’re probably asking: what percentage of Americans are farmers? This article aims to answer this question, so read on to find out more
What Percentage Of Americans Are Farmers?
Farmers and ranchers make up only 1.3% of the employed US population, which is only around 2.5 million people. This figure might come as a surprise because the US’s farmland may stretch far and wide, and this country also has areas known for the best farmland in the world.
In 1935, there were 7 million farms in the US, but today there is a steep decline in the number of farms in this large country. There are only around 2 million farms in operation in the US in the last few years.
American women make up 36% of US farmers, and 56% of farms have at least one female decision-maker. Also, farms with female producers tend to be smaller than average in both values of production and farm sizes.
Now, what do American farmers grow and where do they grow them? Let’s find out in the next sections.
The Most Widely Grown Crops In The Us
Corn is the crop with the largest total production while soybeans come right after. The majority of corn is grown to feed livestock while soybeans account for about 90% of the US oilseed production.
Wheat is the third largest field crop in the US, and half of it is exported. The US produces 1.9 billion bushels of wheat in 2018. Peak production was recorded in 1998 and 2008 at 2.5 billion bushels.
Besides, American farmers grow lots of cottons, making it the world’s leading exporter of this kind of fabric. Cotton farming contributes $21 billion/year to the economy and generates over 125,000 jobs.
Tree nuts and rice are also on the list of the top 10 crops in the US. Almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, and walnuts are grown all over the country, while rice is grown exclusively in California and other southern states only.
Together with the fruit industry, the US’s tree nut industry makes up 13% of the agricultural commodities. In the last few decades, these two industries have faced fierce competition from foreign imports.
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Which Us States Produce The Most Food?
According to the USDA (US Department of Agriculture), in 2019, the top 10 agricultural producing states in the US were: California, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Indiana.
California produces most foods in the states, even though it has no more than 4% of farmland in the US. This state tops the list thanks to its warm climate, permitting multiple growing seasons and a wide variety of more than 400 types of crops.
Figs, almonds, raisins, and artichokes are the key crops of California. Besides, this Western state is the top producer of dairy products in the US.
Fans of strawberries would love to visit this third-largest state, as it is the leading producer of this bright red fruit, taking up more than 80% of the US’s strawberry production.
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How many percent of Americans are farmers? Only 1.3% of the US population are farmers. Due to technological advances, severe weather conditions together with climate change, there are much fewer farms in the US these days, especially small ones. This fall has led to a decline in farm workers.