Photo courtesy of Derek Bakken (CC)
A farm in southeast Minnesota.
Data compiled by the USDA found fewer farms in Minnesota last year, but the size of the average farm grew by one acre.
February 21, 2017
Minnesota was home to the eighth-largest number of farms in the country last year, despite losing hundreds during that time.
Data released Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed Minnesota—which has long been a national leader in sweet corn, soybeans, sugar beets and livestock production—with approximately 73,300 farms in 2016.
In 2015, the state boasted 73,600 farms, amounting to a loss of 300 farms.
Texas continued its rein as the nation’s farming powerhouse in 2016 with 241,500 farms. Missouri followed in the ranks with 96,800 farms, followed by Iowa (87,000), Oklahoma (78,100), California (76,700), Kentucky (76,000), and Ohio (74,500).
In total, the USDA estimated there was an annual loss of 8,000 farms from 2015 to 2016, bringing the current total to 2.06 million farms.
Yet, as farming numbers have fallen, the acreage of the average farm has grown.
The average farm size in the U.S. totaled 442 acres in 2016, up one acre from the year prior. Minnesota farms also had an average increase of one acre, as the typical farm grew to 353 acres in 2016.