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RSS By: Paul Neiffer, Top Producer

Paul is now part of the fourth generation in America that is involved in farming and hopes the next generation will be involved also. Through his blog he provides analysis and insight to farmer tax questions.

Where are the Large Farms?

Jun 10, 2014

As we have previously mentioned, the 2012 US AG Census was just released and there are many interesting facts contained in the census. One area that I will highlight today is the trends regarding large farms. These farms contain more than 2,000 acres. As can be expected Texas has the most large farms with 10,810. It is the only state with more than 10,000 large farms. The top 10 states are as follows:

  • Texas - 10,810
  • Montana - 6,481
  • North Dakota - 6,437
  • Kansas - 6,211
  • South Dakota - 5,637
  • Nebraska - 5,286
  • Colorado - 3,602
  • Oklahoma - 3,518
  • New Mexico - 3,003
  • Illinois - 2,469

The total number of large farms increased from 80,393 in 2007 to 82,207 in 2012. Over the last 15 years, the total increase has been about 7,800 farms or a little more than 10%. This data reflects the number of large farms, not the total amount of acreage controlled by these farms.

Another area that I will cover is the amount of total cropland in the US. The trend has been down over the last 15 years from 445 million acres in 1997 to 390 million in 2012. The top 10 states are (in million acres):

  • Texas - 29.1
  • Kansas - 28.5
  • North Dakota 27.1
  • Iowa 26.3
  • Illinois 23.8
  • Nebraska 21.6
  • Minnesota 21.6
  • South Dakota 19.1
  • Montana 17.0
  • Missouri 15.3

The smallest state is Rhode Island with 22,593 acres which is about 35 square miles of cropland. Interestingly enough, Alaska is by far our largest state (sorry Texas), but is the second smallest with 84,114 acres. Although Texas has the largest acres of cropland, it also lost the most in the last five years dropping over 4.5 million acres out of production.

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