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Profile of Farms with Livestock in the United States - Footnotes

  1. A farm is defined as an enterprise with $1,000 or more of agricultural product sales, or has enough land and/or livestock to generate sales at this level. Some of the farms in the Census of Agriculture report no sales but have a combination of acres and livestock that still qualify them as a farm. For example, an enterprise with 5 cattle of any kind or 5 horses or 7 hogs and pigs or 142 poultry of any kind or 25 sheep and goats qualifies as a farm even without any sales or farmland. For criteria used to define farms without reported sales, see US Department of Agriculture, Census Division, NASS, "Code Definitions--1997 Census of Agriculture," November 10, 1997.


  2. Kellogg, Robert L., Charles H. Lander, David C. Moffitt, and Noel Gollehon, "Manure Nutrients Relative to the Capacity of Cropland and Pastureland to Assimilate Nutrients: Spatial and Temporal Trends for the United States," U.S. Department of Agriculture, December 2000.


  3. Veal farms were identified in the Census of Agriculture as farms with annual sales of more than 210 calves and no beef cow or milk cow end-of-year inventory and little or no land available for grazing. Confined heifer farms were identified as farms with annual sales of more than 50 heifers and no beef cow or milk cow end-of-year inventory and little or no land available for grazing. Veal and confined heifers were identified only on farms with less than 5 acres of rangeland and pastureland and without grazing land permits. There are undoubtedly additional veal and confined heifer farms, but they could not be distinguished from farms with pastured animals on the basis of the information available in the Census of Agriculture. It is also likely that some of these farms did not raise confined heifers or veal. Nevertheless, the census data suggest that calves or heifers on all of these farms were being held in confinement.


  4. Farms with other livestock types that had no end-of-year inventories but reported livestock sales were automatically classified as farms with confined livestock types because data on the number of animals sold was incorporated into the calculation of animal units. Milk cow animal units, however, are only based on the end-of-year inventory.


  5. Animal units are not estimated for feeder pigs because the calculation for hogs for slaughter assumes the animals were on the farm from birth to market. A separate calculation for feeder pigs would therefore result in an unknown amount of double-counting.


  6. The USDA animal unit definition used in this paper is different from the animal unit definition used by EPA. For example, 1,000 EPA animal units for chicken broilers is equivalent to 220 USDA animal units, where USDA animal units are based on 1,000 pounds of live weight. The correspondence between USDA animal units and EPA animal units is discussed later in this paper.


  7. Economic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, "ERS Farm Typology for a Diverse Agricultural Sector," Agriculture Information Bulletin Number 759, September 2000.


  8. Appendix I--America's Diverse Farms: More Information. in Food and Agricultural Policy: Taking Stock for the New Century, United States Department of Agriculture, September, 2001. (


  9. United States Department of Agriculture, National Commission on Small Farms. "A Time to Act." January, 1998. (


  10. The higher gross livestock sales per farm for farms with confined livestock types is not an indication of greater profitability. Profitability is determined by input costs in addition to output prices and production levels. Input costs for confined livestock are generally higher than input costs for operations raising livestock on pasture.


  11. Other dairy cattle include calves and heifers.


  12. Federal Register, volume 66, Number 9, January 12, 2001.


  13. Taken from Kellogg, et. al. (2000), table 1.


  14. Parameters used to calculate manure phosphorus are taken from Kellogg, et. al. (2000), table 8.

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