Nebraska Farm Numbers Show Small Decline in 2011 -- February 29, 2012

Nebraska Farm Numbers Show Small Decline in 2011 -- February 29, 2012

February 29, 2012

The number of farms and ranches in Nebraska declined less than 1% during 2011, dropping from 47,200 in 2010 to 46,800, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office.

The numbers of farms and ranches in Nebraska with less than $100,000 in agricultural sales declined 800 farms, while operations with more than $100,000 were up 400 farms. The decline in smaller farms was in part the result of existing farms moving into higher sales categories.

Land in farms and ranches in Nebraska totaled 45.5 million acres, a decline of 100,000 acres from last year. The average size of operation, at 972 acres, increased by 6 acres from 2010.

U.S. Farm Numbers Down Slightly

The number of farms in the United States in 2011 is estimated at 2.2 million, down slightly from 2010. Total land in farms, at 917 million acres, decreased 1.85 million acres from 2010. The average farm size is 420 acres, up 1 acre from the previous year.

Farm numbers increased slightly in the $10,000-$99,999, $250,000-$499,999, and $500,000 and over sales classes. Higher commodity prices and larger value of sales contributed to changes in the number of farms within these sales classes. Farm numbers increased 1.3%, to slightly over 600,000 farms in the $10,000 - $99,999 sales class and 1.9% in the $250,000 - $499,999 sales class to over 100,000 farms. Meanwhile, the number of farms in the $500,000 and over sales class increased by 5.9%, to 133,570 farms.

Land in farms increased in the largest sales class while decreasing in all other sales classes. Land operated by farms in the $500,000 and over in sales class increased 2.5%, to 305.7 million acres. Land operated by farms in both $1,000-$9,999 and $100,000-$249,999 sales classes decreased by 3.5%, to 100.7 million acres and 138.7 million acres respectively.

The average farm size increased 1 acre in 2011 to 420 acres per farm. However, average farm sizes declined in some of the sales classes partially due to smaller farms moving up to higher sales classes.

For more detailed information, see the national report

News Release
USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service