According to USDA statistician Kevin Barnes small farms are getting smaller and big farms are getting bigger. He helped put together the numbers for 2007 on the number of farms, farm size and farmland. Estimates for the number of farms in 2007 are 2.08 million a drop of about 0.6% from 2006.
Barnes says some of that is a result of large farms buying out smaller ones, but also contributing to the decrease in small and mid-sized farms are the higher farm product prices. As prices go up, the farms move into a higher sales classification.
In 2007 the average farm size was 449 acres, which was three acres more than in 2006. Total farmland was just less than 931 million acres, which was down 1.5 million. Barnes says the reason for that is farm consolidation and diversion of farmland to non-ag uses.