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Table 2 Characteristics of black farm operators and the farms they operate, 1997–2012

From: Black Farmers in the USA and Michigan: Longevity, Empowerment, and Food Sovereignty

Farm characteristics 2012 2007 2002 1997
Number of farms 36,382 32,938 30,605 18,451
Total acreage of farms 4,563,805 3,826,403 3,836,339 2,384,868
Size of farms
 1 to 9 acres 4464 4265 2626a 2012
 10 to 49 acres 13,442 12,484 10,607a 6053
 50 to 179 acres 13,286 11,803 11,398a 6137b
 180 to 499 acres 3912 3369 3557a 3497b
 500 acres or more 1278 1017 902a 752
Ownership status
 Own land in farms 33,062 30,222 26,488a 16,560
  Number of acres farmed 3,064,850 2,555,302 2,196,264a 1,499,083
 Rented or leased farmland 11,700 10,056 9896a 7259
  Number of acres farmed 1,498,955 1,271,101 1,159,527a 885,785
Tenure
 Full owners 24,672 22,882 19,194a 11,192
  Number of acres farmed 2,085,524 1,952,699 1,650,583a 1,095,093
 Part owners 8380 7340 7294a 5368
  Number of acres farmed 1,987,764 1,510,725 1,410,676a 1,068,343
 Tenants 3330 2716 2602a 1891
  Number of acres farmed 490,517 362,979 294,532a 221,432
Types of farms operated
 Oilseed and grains 2839 2581 2767a 2728
 Vegetables and melon 1942 1826 1377a 767
 Fruit and tree nut 1093 1008 703a 358
 Greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture 434 423 288a 170
 Tobacco 138 248 925a 1330
 Cotton 201 213 408a 358
 Sugarcane, hay, and other crops 7324 6470 3521a 1237
 Beef cattle ranching 17,037 14,749 15,000a 8966
 Cattle feedlots 53 205 474a 292
 Dairy cattle and milk production 85 183 231a 112
 Hogs and pigs 436 708 1179a 1213
 Poultry and egg production 736 842 405a 221
 Sheep and goats 1086 827 288a 111
 Animal aquaculture and other production 2978 2655 1524a 588
Organizational structure
 Family-owned or individual 32,604 28,946 27567a 16,858
 Partnerships 2038 2763 1051a 1156
 Corporations 1244 809 241a 262
 Other—cooperative, estate, trust, etc. 496 420 231a 175
Gender of farm operators (multiple operators)
 Male 35,336 31,436 29,631  
 Female 11,246 9588 6739  
Years on present farm
 2 years or less 2174 2309 1690 924
 3 or 4 years 2993 3229 2976 1325
 5 to 9 years 7404 7768 7217 2379
 10 years or more 34,011 27,718 24,487 8460
Age group
 Under 25 years 678 630 213 78
 25 to 34 years 1577 1452 668 667
 35 to 44 years 3525 4057 2953 2467
 45 to 54 years 8928 9185 7017 4309
 55 to 64 years 14,449 12,332 7682 4349
 65 to 74 years 10,948 8358 6449 2161c
 75 years or older 6477 5010 4108 4420c
Average age (of all operators) 59.9 58.3 57.8 58.5
  1. Compiled from U.S. Department of Agriculture 2014, 2012 Census of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.: National Agricultural Statistics Service, pp. 58–65; U.S. Department of Agriculture 2009, 2007 Census of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.: National Agricultural Statistics Service, pp. 58–64; U.S. Department of Agriculture 2004, 2002 Census of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.: National Agricultural Statistics Service, pp. 54–55, 552; U. S. Department of Agriculture 1999, 1997 Census of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.: National Agricultural Statistics Service, pp. 54–60
  2. aThe census reported figures based only on data collected from the 29,090 farms where the principal operator is black. There are an additional 1515 farms that have black operators that are not included in this data. The data in this column that do not have superscript letters are being reported on 30,605 farms with a total of 36,370 black operators
  3. bThese categories differ from later years. The range is 50–139 and 140–499 acres
  4. cThese categories differ from later years. The range is 65–69 and 70 years and up