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Farm Business Type by Sales

Massachusetts Agricultural Census 2012

Individual or family owned farms make up the majority of farms and operate the greatest amount of farmland. However, the market value of their farm products was far less than that of the Commonwealth's corporate farms. Individual or family owned farms produced $157 million in agricultural products in 2012, down from the $168 million reported in 2007. In 2002, individual and family owned farms produced $132 million in farm products. While the value of farm products of individual and family owned farms grew by nearly 28 percent from 2002 to 2007, it declined by 6.5 percent from 2007 to 2012. Corporations produced $232 million of Massachusetts’ value of farm products in 2012, an increase of $12.7 million or 5.8 percent over the $219 million produced in 2007. Production in terms of value for incorporated farms also increased by 27.3 percent from 2002 to 2007. Partnerships and other types of farm organization accounted for much lower values of production in 2012 with $78.8 million and $24 million, respectively.  While the value of farm products produced by partnerships increased by 38 percent from 2007 to 2012, value for other types of farms dropped by 31.3 percent. The combined market values for individual and family owned and partnership farms was $236 million in 2012, a slight increase from their combined $235.5 in 2007.

We can consider these market values in terms of shares of the Massachusetts total to see the relative importance of each farm type. Individual and family owned farms share of the total market value of Massachusetts farm products dropped from 34 percent in 2012 to 32 percent in 2007. The share for incorporated farms increased from 45 percent in 2007 to 47 percent in 2012. The market share for partnership farms in 2007 was 13.8  percent of the Commonwealth's total – that share increased to 16 percent in 2012. Other types of farms, contributed only about 7 percent in 2007 and dropped to just under 5 percent in 2012.