U.S. Sees Drop of 8,000 Farms, Believed to be Consolidation

February 21, 2017 12:21 PM

A new government report shows the number of farms in the U.S. continues to shrink.

The USDA’s annual overview of farm properties shows the number of farms in the country is just more than 2 million farms, down 8,000 farms from the year prior.

Total land in farms is 911 million acres, down 1 million acres.

The national average farm size increased one acre from the previous year to 442 acres.

The biggest changes for 2016 are for farms between a $250,000 and $500,000 in sales. Those acres have increased roughly 1.3 million acres.

However, the biggest producers, those with sales more than $1 million, saw farm acres drop by 1 million acres.

“Farmers are looking at ways they can reduce their per unit cost of production,” said Craig Dobbins, professor of ag economics at Purdue University. “Farms, like any other business, one way they approach that is to consolidate. One farm takes over another far and uses the machinery and labor it has to spread those resources over more units of production.”


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Spell Check

Grand Forks, ND
2/21/2017 07:57 PM

  Farmers are retiring and/or quitting and they don't have kids or anyone to take there land over so other farms are taking it over. In 2010-2013 kids that didn't farm came home bc they thought it was easy money now finding out it sucks and going back to there day job. My brother and I have took over 6 farms since 2004. Farm sizes are getting bigger bc no body wants to work. It's going to get worse before it gets better

Tallulah, LA
2/21/2017 05:09 PM

  What this clown means is more small farms going out of business!! He calls it consolidation to sound smart and write!!

Plains , GA
2/21/2017 08:46 PM

  Not necessarily a bad thing. It's giving more opportunities for the experienced farmer to grow bigger and ridding the ones who's heart or brain is not into the long hours and hard work. Nothing to be depressed about. Just keeping that our country needs to continue to grow our own food


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