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February 24, 2013

Farm briefs: Feb. 24, 2013

New York farm numbers unchanged

ALBANY — The number of farms in New York for 2012 remained the same as a year earlier, according to King Whetstone, director of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York Field Office.

The number of farms for 2012 is estimated at 36,000. Land in farms was 7 million acres. Farms with sales over $500,000 increased by 100 to 1,900 while farms with sales between

$250,000 and $499,999 remained at 1,300. The area of land operated by farms in these two groups totaled 2.55 million acres, up 50,000 from 2011. The next smaller sales class, farms with sales between $100,000 and $249,999, increased by 300 to 3,500 while land operated by these farms increased to 1.20 million acres.

There were 11,300 farms with sales between $10,000 and $99,999 compared with 10,800 a year earlier. Land they operated totaled 1.9 million acres. There were 900 fewer small farms with sales between $1,000 and $9,999 in 2012, at 18,000. Land in farms for this class dropped to 1.35 million acres.

The number of farms in the United States in 2012 is estimated at 2.2 million, down 11,630 farms from 2011. Total land in farms, at 914 million acres, decreased 3 million acres from 2011. The average farm size is 421 acres, up 1 acre from the previous year.

Farm numbers and land in farms are differentiated by five economic sales classes. Farms and ranches are classified into these classes by summing sales of agricultural products and government program payments. Sales class breaks occur at $10,000, $100,000, $250,000 and $500,000.

Farm numbers in the $500,000 and over sales class increased by 8.6 percent to 145,190 farms. Higher commodity prices and larger value of sales contributed to changes in the number of farms within these sales classes. Meanwhile, the number of farms in the $1,000 to $9,999 sales class decreased by 2.5 percent to 1,172,200. Farm numbers increased slightly in the $10,000 to $99,999 sales class to slightly over 600,000 farms.

The number of farms in the $100,000 to $249,999 and $250,000 to $499,999 sales classes increased 1.9 and 1.1 percent respectively. 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 sales class increased 3.7 percent to 317.1 million acres. Land operated by farms in the $1,000 to $9,999 sales class decreased by 3.9 percent to slightly less than 97 million acres. Land in farms in the $10,000 to $99,999, $100,000 to $249,999 and $250,000 to $499,999 sales classes decreased by 1.4, 2.6 and 2.4 percent respectively.

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