Agri-Pulse | Decrease in Small, Midsized Farms Highlighted in Ag Census

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When former Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in 2019 that the economic realities of dairy farming were forcing farmers to get bigger or get out of the business, he was roundly criticized for appearing to offer no hope for smaller operators.

Perdue tried to walk back his comments by saying his remarks simply reflected reality — “that it is tough to make it in the dairy business milking 40 or 50 cows these days.” But five years later, the 2022 Census of Agriculture confirms the continuing trend toward larger farming operations.

As the number of farms fell 7% during the five-year period, from about 2 million to 1.9 million, only the largest farms became more numerous, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Operations of 5,000 acres or larger went from 26,000 to 27,000.

Read the full story on the Agri-Pulse website.