USDA says number of US farms fell 9,350 last year

The U.S. lost nearly 10,000 farms last year and a farmland analyst suggests the trend will continue.

Randy Dickhut with Agricultural Economic Insights says he expects more farms to consolidate into larger operations.

“We’ve got a lot of farmers in that baby boom or older age who are coming upon retirement,” he said. “It’s going to continue to be a natural progression.”

The USDA’s recent Summary of Farms and Land in Farms Report estimates the number of farms in 2022 at 2.02 million, down 9,350 from 2021.

He tells Brownfield a 1.9-million-acre loss in agricultural land is another concern.

“That’s a good-sized drop in those acres,” Dickhut said. “There’s urban development using farmland in those metro areas for different purposes and stuff.”

USDA says the average farm size increased in the $1 million or more sales class in 2022.

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