Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Farms Number under 2 Million; Fewest since before Civil War

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Farms Number under 2 Million; Fewest since before Civil War

Article excerpt

The number of farms in America has dropped below 2 million, the lowest number since before the Civil War, the Census Bureau reported last week

The number of farms in the nation in 1992 was 1,925,300, about the same as it was in 1860, the Bureau said.

The number peaked at 6.8 million in 1935.

While there are fewer farms, more efficient methods boosted farm output to $163 billion. Between 1987 and 1992, average farm size increased from 462 to 491 acres, the report said.

Among the details, the report noted a significant shift in the population of milk cows between 1987 and 1992. During that period large declines were reported in Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, which collectively lost 514,948 cows. But gains were reported in California, Texas, Washington, Idaho and New Mexico, which together added 314,595 milk cows.

Hog raising remained strong in Midwest states such as Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota, and North Carolina had a 108 percent increase. …

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