A recent report shows a million-acre drop in farmland acres and an increase in farm size. It’s a slow-moving, but consistent trend, according to AgWeb.
The report, Farms and Land in Farms 2015 Summary, was released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
It shows the number of farms decreased by 18,000 and farm acres went down 1 million acres from 2014.
The number of farms in the U.S. for 2015 is estimated at 2.07 million and total number of farm acres at 912 million acres. The average size increased by three acres to 441 acres per farm.
Texas lost 3,500 farms in 2015, while farm acres stayed the same at 1,300 acres. The average farm size in Texas increased by seven acres compared to 2014.
The report also indicated nearly 31 percent of all farmland was operated by farms with less than $100,000 in sales, and 41 percent of all farmland was operated by farms with sales of $500,000 or more.
The states with significant decreases of 100,000 farmland acres included: Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin. Florida and Louisiana reported 50,000-acre decreases.
According to AgWeb, experts believe lower grain prices, an aging farm population and increased regulatory concerns and environmental pressures could be to blame for the trend in fewer farms across the U.S.
Click here for the complete USDA summary.