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USDA's Official Farm Count Fell During 2017
USAgNet - 02/20/2018

The number of farms in the United States during 2017 is estimated at 2.05 million, down 12 thousand farms from the previous year. Total land in farms, at 910 million acres, decreased 1 million acres from 2016. The average farm size for 2017 is 444 acres, up 2 acres from 2016.

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 2017 mid-year surveys to report the value of sales based on production during the 2016 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 63.0 million acres or 6.9 percent of the 914.5 million acres of farmland.

Number of farms declined by 12 thousand from 2016. The number of farms in Sales Classes $100,000 - $249,999 and $1,000,000 or more increased while all other sales classes declined. 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.

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