During 2014, the United States lost 18,000 farms and 1 million acres of farmland, according to a new report from the USDA. The Farms and Land in Farms report, released on February 19, shows a continuing trend, with numbers of small farms declining and numbers of larger farms increasing moderately.
The report pegs the total number of U.S. farms at 2.08 million, down 18,000 from 2013. Total land in farms, at 913 million acres, decreased 1.03 million acres from 2013, while the average farm size for 2014 is 438 acres, up 3 acres from the previous year.
For this report, the USDA groups farms in six economic classes, with the smallest generating between $1,000 and $9,999 from sales of agricultural products and government payment programs. That small category accounted for the loss of farm numbers, with a year-over-year decline of 27,000 farms. All the other categories increased in numbers.
· Farms in sales class $10,000 to $99,999, at 622,000, increased by 3,000 farms.
· Farms in sales class $100,000 to $249,999, at 145,000, increased by 2,000 farms.
· Farms in sales class $250,000 to $499,999 at 97,000, increased by 6 hundred farms.
· Farms in sales Class $500,000 to $999,999 at 83,000, increased by 3 thousand farms.
· Farms in sales class $1,000,000 or more, at 82,000, increased by 100 farms.
The sales class of $1,000 to $9,999 accounted for 50.6 percent of farms while the classes generating more than $100,000 accounted for 19.6 percent of the total.
Texas has the largest total number of farms at 248,500, while Wyoming has the largest average acreage per farm at 2,598 acres.
View the full Farms and Land in Farms report from USDA.