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U.S. Farm Numbers Down Slightly


Published: Friday, March 17, 2017

The number of farms in the United States for 2016 is estimated at 2.06 million, down 8,000 farms from 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Total land in farms, at 911 million acres, decreased 1 million acres from 2015. The average farm size for 2016 is 442 acres, up 1 acre from the previous year.

Farm numbers and land in farms are differentiated by six economic sales classes. Farms and ranches are classified into these six sales classes by summing the sales of agricultural products and government program payments. Sales class breaks occur at $10,000, $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, and $1,000,000. Producers were asked during the 2016 mid-year surveys to report the value of sales based on production during the 2015 calendar year.

Point Farms are farms that did not have the required minimum $1,000 in sales for the year to qualify as a farm, but had sufficient crops and livestock to normally have sales of $1,000 or more. Point Farms are assigned a sales class based on the sum of the agricultural point (dollar) values assigned to the quantity of commodities produced but not sold. The 2012 Census of Agriculture showed that 428,810 farms, or 20.3 percent, of the 2.11 million farms were Point Farms. These Point Farms operated 63 million acres, or 6.9 percent, of the 914.5 million acres of farmland.

Number of farms declined by 8,000 from 2015. The number of farms in Sales Class $250,000-$499,999 increased while all other sales classes declined slightly. Fifty percent of all farms had less than $10,000 in sales. Eighty percent of all farms had less than $100,000 in sales. Eight percent of all farms had sales of $500,000 or more.

Changes in the number of farms by sales class are:

• Sales Class $1,000-$9,999 at 1.03 million farms, declined by 5,000 farms.

• Sales Class $10,000 -$99,999 at 621 thousand farms, declined by 2,000 farms.

• Sales Class $100,000 -$249,999 at 145 thousand farms, declined by 400 farms.

• Sales Class $250,000 -$499,999 at 98 thousand farms, increased by 400 farms.

• Sales Class $500,000 -$999,999 at 82 thousand farms, declined by 5 hundred farms.

• Sales Class $1,000,000 or more at 82 thousand farms, declined by 200 farms.

The percent of all farms by sales class are:

• Sales Class $1,000 -$9,999: 50.1 percent

• Sales Class $10,000 -$99,999: 30.1 percent

• Sales Class $100,000 -$249,999: 7 percent

• Sales Class $250,000 -$499,999: 4.8 percent

• Sales Class $500,000 -$999,999: 4 percent

• Sales Class $1,000,000 or more: 4 percent

Land in farms, at 911 million acres, was down 1 million acres from 2015. The biggest changes for 2016 are that producers in Sales Class $250,000-$499,999 operated 1.29 million more acres and those in Sales Class $1,000,000 or more operated 1.01 million fewer acres.

Similar to the previous year, in 2016 nearly 31 percent of all farmland was operated by farms with less than $100,000 in sales. Forty-one percent of all farmland was operated by farms with sales of $500,000 or more.

Indiana

The number of farms in Indiana in 2016 was 57,500, according to Greg Matli, state statistician of the USDA, NASS, Indiana Field Office.

Land in farms was estimated to be 14.7 million acres, unchanged from last year. The average size farm in Indiana was 256 acres per farm, up 1 acre from 2015.

Michigan

The number of farms in Michigan in 2016 was 51,400, according to Marlo Johnson, director of the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Regional Office.

Land in farms was 9.95 million acres, unchanged from last year. The average size farm in Michigan was 194 acres per farm, up 1 acre from 2015.

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