March 12, 2004
March 12, 2004 -- The annual Farms and Land in Farms report produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture?s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) was recently released.
According to the most current statistics, the number of farms in the United States in 2003 is estimated to be down 4 percent from 2002 to 2.13 million while total land in farms fell to 938.8 million acres, down 1,550,000 acres from the 2002 numbers. The average size farm during 2003 was 441 acres, an increase of one acre from the previous year.
The number of farms in 2003 declined in 20 states, remained unchanged in 28 states and increased in two states. The largest decline in farms occurred in California, which lost 1,200 places followed by Missouri with 1,000. The two states with an increase were Mississippi, with 600 additional farms, and Montana, with 100 places.
NASS stated that the decline in the number of farms and land in farms continues to reflect consolidation in farming operations and competition for agricultural land for other uses.
A complete copy of the report can be found at: Farms and Lands in Farms