Farm Tenancy Distribution and Trends in the United States

Howard A. Turner
1937 Law & Contemporary Problems  
At the present time only half of the acreage that is in farms in the United States is farmed by its owners, the owners working personally with or without assistance of family and hired labor. The other. half is farmed by managers or by tenants who have to lease part if not all of the land they use. This was the situation in 1935 and also in i93o but a greater proportion of the acreage in farms was formerly owneroperated. In 19oo almost three-fifths, 59P/%, of the acreage in farms was farmed by
more » ... arms was farmed by its owners. These figures relative to acreage suggest that the tenure position of the American farmer is weak and is on the decline. This is a conclusion that may be confirmed by statistics of farms by number and kind, and also by what is known about the investment interests of farmers and others in farm real estate. Farmers who owned all of the land they farmed were only 47.1% of all farmers in 1935, whereas they were 52.2/ of all farmers in 192o and 55.8%. of all farmers in i9oo. Farmers who rented all of the land they farmed were 42.1% of all farmers in 1935, whereas they were 38.1% of all farmers in I92O, 35.3% in i9oo, 25.6% in i88o.1 In 1935 over half, 52a%, of the farmers rented some part if not all of the acreage they farmed. Some other farmers managed farms they did not own. The younger a farmer is the more certainly must he farm as a tenant. In i93o about seven-eights, 86.5%, of the farmers who were under 25 years of age were tenants or croppers. However, of farmers 45 to 54 years of age only about a third, 34.6% were tenants or croppers, and of farmers, who were aged 65 years or over only about a sixth, 164%" were tenants or croppers.
doi:10.2307/1189524 fatcat:37jiowmbvbclxpguplii2niqra