Another 1 Million Acres of Farmland, Gone

February 25, 2016 06:06 AM
Another 1 Million Acres of Farmland, Gone

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.

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Spell Check

Roger Scheibe
2/25/2016 05:22 PM

  Urban sprawl consuming productive ag land.

Edgerton, MN
2/27/2016 07:38 PM

  middle man mark up really hurts the producer and the consumer, why are the laws not enforced

Steve Slonaker
Centerville, IN
2/28/2016 12:28 PM

  This is a result of government and environmental groups purchases largely and USDA changing rules of farms. Urban sprawl is not significant #. I am appraiser and farm manager and have watched this for 30 yrs. Large acreages are going to preserves and taken off tax roles. This is causing farmers taxes to increase and causing rural county governments problems.


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