Minnesota lost about one farm a day last year, continuing a gradual regional and national trend that has seen the number of farms decline slightly and the size of farms increase gradually.
Minnesota now has 73,600 farms, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture annual survey, down 400 or 0.5 percent from 2014. The size of the average farm in the state is 352 acres, up 2 acres from the previous year. Using USDA definitions, 25.9 million acres of Minnesota qualifies as “land in farms,” which includes land used for crops, livestock and ranches.
North Dakota has 30,000 farms, down about 1 percent from 2014, and the average size is 1,307 acres. South Dakota is similar, with 31,300 farms, averaging 1,383 acres.
Wisconsin saw almost no change, losing 100 of its 69,000 farms last year, and the average size was virtually unchanged at 209 acres.
And Iowa lost 500 of its 88,000 farms in 2014, with the average size just below 350 acres.
Nationally, Texas has the most farms with 242,000, followed by Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma and California. Wyoming and Montana are the top two states for average farm size, largely because of ranches.
The report was based on surveys of producers in mid-2015, and also classifies farms in six categories, depending on the value of their annual sales. In 2015, about 82,500 farms nationally had sales of more than $1,000,000, up slightly from the previous year.