American Indian farmers have more land, less cash

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The 1,100-acre ranch owned by Milton Sovo Jr. in Oklahoma is about triple the size of the typical U.S. farm, yet he has worked two jobs for decades to get by.

New data shows he’s fairly typical among American Indian farmers, who tend to have more land but less income than those of other races. They also are less likely to receive government aid.

Relatively little was known about the nation’s 80,000 American Indian farmers until the most recent agricultural census.

It shows American Indian farms average about 1,400 acres, while the typical American farm is 400 acres. American Indian farms average about $40,000 a year in sales, compared to $135,000 for farms overall.

Only 13 percent of American Indian farmers get federal aid.