The USDA National Ag Statistics Service this week released the 2012 update on the number of farms and land in farms, revealing another year of on-trend data and affirming what many expected: fewer farms, larger farms.
In 2012, the number of U.S. farms is estimated at 2.2 million, down 11,630 farms from 2011. Additionally, total land in farms, at 914 million acres, decreased 3 million acres from 2011.
By economic class, the number of farms in the $500,000 or more sales category increased by 8.6% while the number of farms in the $100,000 - $249,999 and $250,000 - $499,999 sales classes increased 1.9% and 1.1%, respectively.
Farm numbers increased slightly in the $10,000 - $99,999 sales class, and the number of farms in the $1,000 - $9,999 sales class decreased by 2.5%.
NASS attributes the change in the highest economic class to higher commodity prices.
Land in farms
Land in farms increased in the largest sales class while decreasing in all other sales classes.
Land operated by farms in the $500,000 & over sales class increased 3.7%, to 317.1 million acres. Land operated by farms in the $1,000-$9,999 sales class decreased by 3.9%, to slightly less than 97 million acres.
Land in farms in the $10,000 - $99,999, $100,000 - $249,999 and $250,000 - $499,999 sales classes decreased by 1.4%, 2.6% and 2.4% respectively.