Oil, natural gas and wind production have proven a viable farm income source. According to a new study from the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) that covered 2011 to 2020, 3.5% of farms received energy payments, and the average annual payment was more than $30,000.

These annual average payments varied from a high of $62,944 in 2013 to a low of $14,032 in 2020. The ERS study found the average yearly payment tracked closely with oil prices.

The type of energy production also made a difference in the payments. Counties producing oil and natural gas were more likely to receive payments than those with wind energy development. In addition, large farms were more likely to receive energy payments and their payments tended to be higher.

Read more about how farmers are supplementing farm income through energy production here.