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Rural Migration Blog

May 2019

Census of Agriculture 2017: Commodities and Producers

The Census of Agriculture found two million farms in 2017. Most were small operations, selling farm products worth less than $10,000. The largest 77,000 farms, each selling farm products worth $1 million or more, accounted for over two-thirds of total farm sales.

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Census of Agriculture 2017

The federal Census of Agriculture for 2017, conducted in years ending in two and seven, was released in April 2019. Almost 72 percent of those to whom the questionnaire was sent responded.

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Federal and State Minimum Wages

The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009, but 29 states have raised their minimum wages above the federal level, such as the $12 an hour minimum wage in California in 2019. Many city and county governments have raised minimum wages, such as the $15 minimum wage in New York City.

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The Changing Nature of Work

Most of the world’s 3.6 billion workers are in developing countries, where two thirds of workers have informal jobs, defined as jobs that do not offer workers minimum wage protections and work-related benefits such as social security and health insurance.

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USDA Projections to 2028

USDA releases projections for the next decade each February. The projections to 2028 assume that consumer incomes will continue increasing in developing countries and that the US dollar will remain relatively strong. Rising incomes bolster demand abroad for US commodities, while the strong dollar makes US exports more expensive.

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