There’s always a lot of debate about how we define a “farm” and how that definition then works to impact political decisions and programs in Washington. Many argue politicians give too loud of a voice to the small farmers that make up very little of our nation’s production. It’s certainly interesting when you start to look at the data and total gross production. 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.
Total Number of Farms in the U.S. for 2021 is estimated at 2,012,050, down -6,950 farms from 20. In 2021, +51% of all farms had less than $10,000 in sales and +81.5% of all farms had less than $100,000 in sales. On the flip side, +7.4% of all farms had sales of $500,000 or more.
Total Land in Farms, at 895,300,000 acres, decreased -1,300,000 acres from 2020. The biggest change for 2021 is that producers in sales class $1,000 – $9,999 operated -640,000 fewer acres than in 2020. In 2021, 30.1% of all farmland was operated by farms with less than $100,000 in sales, while 40.9% of all farmland was operated by farms with sales of +$500,000 or more.
Average Farm Size for 2021 is 445 acres, up from 444 acres the previous year. Average farm size increased only in the $1,000,000 or more sales class, rising to 2,920 acres from 2,915 in 2020. Average farm size declined for farms in the $100,000-$249,999 (976 acres to 973) and $250,000-$499,999 (1,455 acres to 1,448) sales groups. Average acreage was unchanged for the remaining economic sales classes.
State-by-State, the biggest declines in the total number of farms included Ohio (-900), Virginia (-800), Nebraska (-700) California (-600), Alabama (-500), Michigan (-500), West Virginia (-500), Indiana (-400), Kentucky (-400), and Wisconsin (-300). No states witnessed more than a -100 acre decline in total land in farms.
A full copy of the “Farms and Land in Farms Report” is available HERE.