Rural Iowa at a Glance: Farm Trends

David J. Peters
January 2023  [23-SR 121]

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Peters, D.J. 2023. "Rural Iowa at a Glance: Farm Trends." Staff report 23-SR 121. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.


This publication summarizes current farm trends in Iowa between 2011 and 2021. It is modeled after the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural America at a Glance. Indicators are taken from USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey for Iowa. Incomes and sales are inflation adjusted. Farms are defined as having $1,000 or more of agricultural production. Retirement farms have operators who are retired with gross cash farm income (GCFI) under $350,000. Residence farms have operators with a non-farm occupation and GCFI under $350,000, plus farmers with GCFI under $150,000. Small farms include farmers with GCFI between $150,000 and $349,999. Midsize commercial farms include farmers with GCFI between $350,000 and $999,999. Large commercial farms are farmers with $1 million or more in GCFI. Production specialty is based on the commodity with the largest value of production for the farm operation.