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About Migration Dialogue

Migration Dialogue provides timely, factual and nonpartisan information and analysis of international migration issues through five major activities: the newsletters Migration News and Rural Migration News, Changing Face and other Research & Seminars, and the Sloan West Coast Program on Science and Engineering Workers.

Contact us at migrant@primal.ucdavis.edu.

Rural Migration News: COA: US and CA Agriculture

The Census of Agriculture, conducted in years ending in 2 and 7, reported that there were 2.1 million US farms with farm sales of $395 billion in 2012, including $212 billion in crop sales (54 percent) and $182 billion in livestock sales (46 percent). In almost all previous COAs, livestock sales slightly exceeded crop sales, but a combination of high crop prices and a drought that encouraged some livestock operators to sell cattle to avoid high feed costs made crops the majority of farm sales in 2012.

Farm sales have been rising by about $100 billion between the five-year COAs; they were about $200 billion in 2002 and almost $300 billion in 2007. However, most farm sales are from a relative handful of large farms. The 81,600 US farms that each had farm sales of $1 million or more in 2012 collectively had farm sales of $264 billion, two-thirds of total farm sales of $395 billion.

The COA reported 2.1 million US farms in 2012, down from 2.2 million in 2007. Farmers are aging; their average age was 58 in 2012, up from 57 in 2007. There are twice as many farmers age 75 and above, 258,000, as under 35, 120,000. Of the 2.1 million farm operators in 2012, 1.1 million had a primary occupation other than farming.

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  • Migration News

    Migration News

    Migration News is produced with the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and UCB Institute of European Studies. A paper edition is available by mail for $30 domestic and $50 foreign for one year and $55 and $95 for two years. Make checks payable to Migration Dialogue and send to

    Philip Martin, Department of Ag and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis, California 95616 USA.
  • Rural Migration News

    Rural Migration News

    Rural Migration News is produced with the support of the Colcom, Farm, and Giannini Foundations. A paper edition is available by mail for $30 domestic and $50 foreign for one year and $55 and $95 for two-years. Make checks payable to Migration Dialogue and send to

    Philip Martin, Department of Ag and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis, California 95616 USA.
  • Sloan Program On Science and Engineering Workers

    Sloan West Coast Program On S&E Workers

    This network of researchers hosts seminars on labor and immigration issues affecting science and engineering workers, compiles and distributes information on these issues, and cooperates closely with the NBER's SEWP.

  • Changing Face

    Changing Face

    The Changing Face project assesses the effects of immigrant farm workers on agriculture and agricultural communities.

  • Research & Seminars

    Research & Seminars

    Include Opinion Leader Seminars, the Comparative Immigration and Integration Program, and Transatlantic Migration Policy Issue seminars.