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Michigan specialty crop farms see increase in 2022 Census

The latest Ag Census finds Michigan has lost more than 2,000 farms and nearly 300,000 acres of farmland since 2017, but there were some surprising increases.

NASS Director for the Great Lakes Region Marlo Johnson tells Brownfield, “The number of farms and land and farms from Michigan dropped from 2017 to 2022, with a 4.3 (percentage) change,” she says for the number of farms.

The number of organic farms also decreased in 2022.

USDA reported growth in farms with layers, hogs and pigs, vegetables, and land in orchards.  Most inventory and acreage increases were on smaller farms while land in orchards increased in small and medium-sized categories from 2017 to 2022.

Johnson says Michigan lost nearly a third of farms with milking cows since the last census.

“Our number of farms for the milk cows did decrease from 2017 and that was 2,158 in 2017 down to 1,481, she says.

All of those losses came from farms with less than 1,000 milking cows and more than 10. The milking herd size however only decreased one percent.

USDA’s latest farm numbers in the February Milk Product Report showed only 850 licensed dairy farms.

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