Farm Progress is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Web site paints agriculture by the numbers

Anyone who wants to learn about farm policy in the United States has a new source, according to Bobby Coats, professor and economist with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

The Web site offers information from a coalition of farmers and commodity groups created to educate Congress and Americans about agriculture’s contribution to the economy, Coats said.

For those who love statistics, the site includes a “Fact of the Day.” Items that have appeared on the site include:

• Ninety-eight percent of U.S. farms are run by families and less than 2 percent are corporate farms.

• Family farms produce 86 percent of America’s food and fiber.

• U.S. consumers spend just 10 percent of their income on food, which is the lowest percentage in the world.

• Today’s farmer provides food and fiber for 144 people — up from just 19 people in 1940.

• For every dollar Americans spend on food, farmers receive 20 cents.

• There are 6.5 billion people on the planet, and the world’s population will reach 8 billion by 2025.

• There were 13.4 percent more women farmers in 2002 than in 1997, according to the 2002 Ag Census.

• Agricultural land provides habitat for 75 percent of the nation’s wildlife.

• Japanese grocery shoppers spend 26 percent of their incomes on food while Americans only spend 10 percent, thanks to farm policy.

• The Bureau of Engraving and Printing depends on farmers to produce paper currency — 75 percent of every bill is made of cotton.

For more information about Arkansas’ agricultural economy and to hear Coats’ weekly Pod-casts, visit

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.