The USDA just released its “Farms and Land in Farms 2015 Summary,” which points to the continuation of several trends, including fewer (but larger) farms across fewer overall acres.
In 2015, USDA counted 18,000 fewer farms compared to the previous year, and a million fewer acres of farmland. USDA estimated total number of U.S. farms at 2.07 million and total number of farm acres at 912 million acres. The average farm size is 3 acres bigger than a year prior, at 441 acres.
These trends have been slow-moving but quite consistent over the past several years.
Geographically, many states reported no significant farmland acre reductions. Here are the states that did report significant changes.
- Alabama (down 100,000 acres)
- Colorado (down 100,000 acres)
- Georgia (down 100,000 acres)
- Mississippi (down 100,000 acres)
- North Carolina (down 100,000 acres)
- North Dakota (down 100,000 acres)
- Oklahoma (down 100,000 acres)
- Virginia (down 100,000 acres)
- Wisconsin (down 100,000 acres)
- Florida (down 50,000 acres)
- Louisiana (down 50,000 acres)
Why the continued downward slide? Pundits have blamed any number of contributing factors, from lower grain prices, an aging farm population, increased regulatory concerns and environmental pressures, and more.
To read the entire report and track changes in your state, click here.