The Van Trump Report

America’s Farms and Land in Farms…A Deeper Look Inside the Numbers

USDA’s latest Farms and Land in Farms shows the US lost -9,350 farms in 2022, which marks a decline of about half a percentage point from 2012. Land in farms also slid, with -1.9 million fewer acres versus 2021, and a decline of -21 million from 2012. Other changes appear a little deeper in the numbers, including the long-running trend of an increase in big farms and a decline in smaller operations. The average farm size for 2022 is 446 acres, up from 445 acres the previous year. Average farm size increased in the $1,000,000 or more sales class and decreased or remained unchanged in all other sales classes.

Farm numbers and land in farms are differentiated by five economic sales classes. Farms and ranches are classified into these “sales classes” by summing sales of agricultural products and government program payments. Sales class breaks occur at $10,000, $100,000, $250,000, and $500,000. The USDA’s definition of a farm is “any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year.” Government payments are included in sales. Below are highlights from the Farms and Land in Farms 2022 Summary, which is available HERE

Total Number of Farmsin the U.S. for 2022 is estimated at 2,012,050, down -9,350 farms from 2021. In 2022, +50.8% of all farms had less than $10,000 in sales, which is barely changed from 51% in 2021. That share was 54% in 2012. A full 81.4% all farms had less than $100,000 in sales, little changed from +81.5% in 2021 and down from 81.8% in 2012. Only 7.4% of all farms had sales of $500,000 or more, up just slightly from 2021, but up from 6.2% in 20112. About 3.9% of US farms in 2022 had sales of $1 million or more, unchanged from the previous year and up from 3% in 2021.

Total Land in Farmsat 893.40 million acres, is down  -1.90 million acres from 2021. Compared to 2012, that acreage total is -20.60 million lower. The biggest change for 2022 is that producers in sales class $100,000 – $2499,999 operated -1.62 million fewer acres than in 2021. In 2022, 30% of all farmland was operated by farms with less than $100,000 in sales, while 41.2% was operated by farms with sales of +$500,000 or more. Those numbers in 2012 were 34.9% and 33.4%, respectively.  

Average Farm Size for 2022 is 446 acres, up from 445 acres the previous year and 421 acres in 2012. Average farm size increased only in the $1,000,000 or more sales class, rising to 2,927 acres from 2,920 in 2021 and 2,481 acres in 2012. Average farm size declined for farms in the $1,000-$9,999 (80 acres vs 81 in 2021), $100,000-$249,999 (961 acres vs 973), $250,000-$499,999 (1,441 acres vs 1,448) and $500,000-$999,999 (1,933 acres vs 1942) sales groups. Average acreage was unchanged for the $10,000-$99,999 economic sales class at 304 acres. Compared to 2012, the biggest declines in acreage have occurred in the two smaller sales classes, with $1,000-$9,999 dropping acreage from 271 to 80 and $10,000-$99,999 declining from 1,231 to 304 acres. The two largest sales classes saw acreage increase from a total of 4,623 in 2012 to 4,860 acres in 2022.  

State-by-Statethe biggest declines in the total number of farms included Michigan (-1,700), Texas (-1,000), Kansas (-900), Kentucky (-600), California (-600), New Mexico (-600), Nebraska (-500), Alabama (-400), and Ohio (-400). The only state that added farms in 2022 was West Virginia with a gain of +200.

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