The ERS has published an analysis of farms going out of business. Some of their conclusions:
Farming, like other businesses, exhibits high turnover, with many thousands of existing farms going out of business each year.
As in other industries, new farm businesses enter at a high rate and new entrants subsequently exit at high rates, irrespective of the size of the farm or the age of the operator.
Exit rates fall as businesses age to 5-9 years old, and then fall again, although modestly, for more experienced farm businesses. Experience seems to provide an important advantage to well-established businesses that can learn quickly and efficiently.
While the report is thoughtful and thorough, note the dates of the data: 1992-1997. Which is so typical of USDA work.
Do these conclusions apply today? Stay tuned, they will tell us in just 15 years or so.
Driving by looking in rear-view mirror is bad enough, but using old videotapes of the rear-view mirror is ludicrous.