• USDA, Economic Research Service


U.S. farms used about 59% operator, spouse, and family labor, compared to 41% paid labor between 2014 and 2018. Principal operators and their spouses provided most of the labor hours (76 %) used on small farms, those with annual gross cash farm income under $350,000. That share fell to 43% on midsize farms , 17% on large farms , and 2% on very large farms. Large and very large farms relied most on hired labor, which provided 64 and 74% of the labor hours on those farms, respectively. Contract laborers were important on very large farms (particularly in #Fruit and vegetable operations), contributing 20% of labor hours.

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