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USDA: Number of Farms in U.S. Fell by 1-Percent in 2018
USAgNet - 04/19/2019

The number of farms in the United States for 2018 is estimated at 2,029,200, down 12,800 farms from 2017. Total land in farms, at 899,500,000 acres, decreased 870,000 acres from 2017. The average farm size for 2018 is 443 acres, up 2 acres 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 2018 mid-year surveys to report the value of sales based on production during the 2017 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 2017 Census of Agriculture showed that 471,593 farms or 23.1 percent of the 2.04 million farms were Point Farms. These Point Farms operated 59.2 million acres or 6.6 percent of the 900.2 million acres of farmland.

Number of farms declined by 12,800 from 2017. The number of farms in Sales Class $500,000 - $999,999 increased while all other sales classes declined. Fifty-one percent of all farms had less than $10,000 in sales. Eighty-two percent of all farms had less than $100,000 in sales. Seven percent of all farms had sales of $500,000 or more.

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