Farms and Land in Farms Highlights

The number of farms in the United States for 2019 is estimated at 2,023,400, down 5,800 farms from 2018. Total land in farms, at 897,400,000 acres, decreased 2,100,000 acres from 2018. The average farm size for 2019 is 444 acres, up 1 acre 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 2019 mid-year surveys to report the value of sales based on production during the 2018 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 2,042,220 farms were Point Farms. These Point Farms operated 59,166,158 acres or 6.6 percent of the 900,217,576 acres of farmland.

Number of farms declined by 5,800 from 2018. The number of farms in the $100,000 - $249,999 and $250,000 -$499,999 sales classes increased while all other sales classes declined. In 2019, 51.1 percent of all farms had less than $10,000 in sales and 81.5 percent of all farms had less than $100,000 in sales. In 2019, 7.4 percent of all farms had sales of $500,000 or more.

Land in farms, at 897,400,000 acres, is down 2,100,000 acres from 2018. The biggest change for 2019 is that producers in Sales Class $100,000 - $249,999 operated 1,170,000 fewer acres than in 2018. In 2019, 30.2 percent of all farmland was operated by farms with less than $100,000 in sales, while 40.8 percent of all farmland was operated by farms with sales of $500,000 or more.

The average farm size continued to increase in 2019 as the number of farms declined. The overall average size increased by 1 acre to 444 acres per farm. Average farm size decreased in the $100,000-$249,999 and $250,000 - $499,999 sales classes and increased or remained unchanged in all others.

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