Heterogeneity in US Farms: A New Clustering by Production Potentials

Asif Rasool, David Abler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper uses agglomerative hierarchical cluster analysis to group 2778 farming-defined counties into six clusters, revealing farm patterns across the contiguous 48 states of the United States. To understand the differences in economic performance and improve farm households’ well-being, economists have endeavored to identify patterns in US farming. The US is a leading global producer and exporter of many agricultural and food products. Our primary objective is to construct a policy-relevant farm clustering to characterize agricultural homogeneity in US farms’ production potential. We identify six clusters that are relatively homogeneous in five dimensions: farm size, farm assets, farm labor, farm output, degree of mechanization, and government programs. Minimizing diversity within a cluster allows for analysis of public policy changes on specific clusters and comparison of differential effects of the change across clusters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number258
JournalAgriculture (Switzerland)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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