Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version

November 2001


Published in Cornhusker Economics. November 14, 2001. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln .


In recent years, there has been a substantial increase in the concentration of agricultural production in the United States as the number of farming and ranching operations has declined and the average size of those operations has grown. This increased concentration has been accompanied by increased coordination of production and marketing activities through contracting, consolidation and vertical integration. Although independent family farms and ranches have been responsible for most of the nation’s agricultural production historically, small and medium-sized operations are finding it difficult to compete in today’s increasingly industrialized food and agricultural sector.