The Farming Industry and the Future

The Industry’s Growth

When it comes to farming, there’s an obvious positive correlation in the number of people and the size of farms. The current trends in agriculture are the outcome of an exponential growth pattern throughout the history of the Industry alongside a multitude of technological advancement. This includes tractors, nearly every aspect of farming equipment, including methods of harvest, irrigation, and storage.  Nearly the entirety of the work force in the United States was made up of farmers just before the dawn of the 19th century. Farming was grueling work in those days, and although it’s still not easy technology is largely responsible for the reduction in difficulty. In those times, wooden plows and horses, crude tools, and hand harvesting reigned supreme. It was another 50-60 years before innovation and technological advancement took hold and things like the steel plow granted farmers the ability to reduce their work load and increase their yields. Some statistics show that it was possible in the mid 1800’s to reap 100 bushels of wheat in 90 hours of labor. The technological advancements put pressure on the economical viability of farming, and thus the labor force went down from 90% to 69% in the course of about a half a century. Farm sizes grew, in a way larger farms simply absorbed the smaller ones and increased their own production with fewer laborers as well. In general, most farms in the mid 1800’s were around 200 acres. These days, with the efficacy of farming technology such as large cultivators, tractors and the like, farming operations are massive compared their humble beginnings.The average size of a farm in America these days is 1,100 acres. Nearly six times the size of what they used to be. The same absorption effect that happened in the mid 1800’s has grown in scope, leaving 1% of the American labor force employed as farmers. The previous 90 hours of labor to harvest 100 bushels has no been reduced to less than three hours. Farming has grown, and also shrunk in various ways.

Metal building Ridgeline barn with fully enclosed lean to's and many windows.

The Growth of Farms Means the Growth of Buildings

The farms of today are continuing to grow along the population of people, and thus the demand for technology has also increased. Advancements are rolling out with increased frequency, and the growth of tractors and equipment has followed as well. Herein, the price to start a farm has grown significantly. Some estimates start at around $800,000 dollars for small farms, and some go even higher for that to account for expected profits sooner rather than later. Those estimates are farms that start at small budgets, without things like combines and large tractors. To have an average farm these days can be millions. The business of farming is still large, and imports and exports are lucrative in certain markets. Modern technology for farming is a profession in and of itself. The growth in the industry has many negative facets as well, with the ungainly large requirements to have a profitable farm in modern times, the entry fee is not something that younger farmers have taken lightly to. Structures in the farming industry are growing in large, and some of their trends include:

  • Less open buildings, fully enclosed more common
  • Steel buildings are the most used today
  • Doors are large to accommodate farming equipment
  • Use of commercial grade structures benefits longevity in the midwest
  • Larger buildings in general


With demand increasing for large steel buildings with customizable doors and end walls, Elephant Barns has filled the niche. Shelters on a farm are used for a plethora of things, such as livestock shelter, farm equipment storage, and even harvest storage for livestock feed etc. The rickety barns of the past, although nostalgic, are to prone to burn, mildew, and full-on destruction in severe weather. Partially walled buildings are still possible, but most often we sell fully enclosed barns for their stability and ability to withstand winds without a tunneling effect. Our buildings have been used as aircraft hangars, which farmers also use for pesticide planes and fertilizer, etc. Planes are almost necessary for large barns, and even if a farm doesn’t use a plane it’s beneficial to have a large open building like a hangar for storage of combines, tractors, and the like. The large doors and frame-outs that we offer can help for accessibility and ease of storage. Some farmers choose pole barns for their buildings, but we have an article on the myth of pole barns. The fact of the matter is, steel barns are the way of the future for farmers, and are currently the top purchased building among them. Steel barns are the only building that has such a ratio of cost, usability, and longevity. Take a look at our shop by photo section, or call in for a free consultation today. We’ve been in the business of building metal structures for 37 years, and we have only grown since the start. Choose Elephant, and we’ll help you choose the best building in the business.




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