Magazine article Amber Waves

U.S. Cropland Is Consolidating into Larger Farms

Magazine article Amber Waves

U.S. Cropland Is Consolidating into Larger Farms

Article excerpt

Cropland in the United States has shifted to larger farms

36%

Large crop farms (with 2,000 acres or more) accounted for 36 percent of U.S. cropland in 2012, compared to 15 percent in 1987

29%

Most ofthat cropland shifted from midsize crop farms (with 200 to 999 acres). Midsize farms operated 47 percent of U.S. cropland in 1987, but that share fell to 29 percent by 2012.

This shift has occurred in almost all field crops-such as corn, soybeans, and wheat-and in almost all fruit, vegetable, nut, melon, and berry crops.

The number of crop farms has also shifted to larger farms

The number of large crop farms nearly doubled, from about 20,000 farms in 1987 to almost 40,000 in 2012.

Meanwhile the numberof midsize crop farms fell by nearly half, from 478,000 farms to 254,000. The number of small crop farms (with 50-199 acres) also fell, from about 610,000 farms to just over400,000. …

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