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For questions concerning the definition of Limited Resource Farming and/or supporting economic data, contact: Sarah Cline, Economist, FPAC Business Center.

This site is provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.


Limited Resource Program Definition

Limited Resource Farmer


A Limited Resource Farmer or Rancher or Forest Owner is:

  1. A person with direct or indirect gross farm sales not more than $179,000 (for FY2021) in each of the previous two years.*1
  2. A person with a total household income at or below the national poverty level for a family of four or less than 50 percent of county median household income in each of the previous two years.*2

*1 This value will be increased from $100,000 beginning in fiscal year 2004 to adjust for inflation using the "Prices Paid by Farmer Index" compiled by NASS.Gross Farm Sales is defined as: Gross Income entered on IRS Form 1040, Schedule F, in the Farm Income Section (Line 9).

*2 Total household income will be determined annually and indexed for inflation using Commerce Department Data.

The USDA maintains a definition for the Farm Bill here.

Farm Bill Programs

Titles I, II, and XII are the only titles that refer to limited-resource farmers or ranchers. The 2008 Farm Act includes participation incentives and improved access to farm programs for beginning, limited-resource, and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. Though not all Titles address the needs of all groups, provisions appear in

  • Title I - Commodities
  • Title II - Conservation
  • Title V - Credit
  • Title VI - Rural Development
  • Title VII - Research
  • Title IX - Energy
  • Title XII - Crop Insurance
  • Title XIV - Miscellaneous
  • Title XV - Trade and Tax Provisions

This Act authorizes the Secretary to set aside 5 percent of available EQIP funds and CSP acres for socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers and allow up to 90 percent cost share for socially disadvantaged, limited resource and beginning farmers or ranchers. This is provided as outreach and technical assistance to encourage and assist socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers to own and operate farms and ranches and to participate in agricultural programs.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C., 20250-9410, or call (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD).

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Last updated: 08/30/2018

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