Small farms made up the majority of the 800 farms that disappeared from the Wisconsin landscape in 2014, according to new national agricultural data.
Farms that had sales between $1,000 and $9,999 dropped by 500. Farms that had sales between $10,000 and $99,999 dropped by 200 and farms with sales between $100,000 and $999,999 dropped by 100, the National Agricultural Statistics Service is reporting. The total number of farms in Wisconsin dropped to 69,000, the NASS data show.
The number of farms with sales between $1,000 and $9,999 fell by 13.5 percent to 30,500 since 2010, the data shows. They still comprise 44.2 percent of Wisconsin’s farms, compared to 48.2 percent in 2010. Their average size has remained the same at about 66 acres.
Total land in Wisconsin farms dropped 100,000 acres and virtually all of it was due to the decrease in small farms, the data show.
The average size of the Wisconsin farm grew to 210 acres in 2014, which was a one-acre increase from 2013. The state’s biggest farms saw the most significant growth. The average size of farms that had sales of $1 million or more grew 1.4 percent to 1,543 acres, according to NASS data.
But Wisconsin farms that had sales between $100,000 and $999,999 continued to decline in average size in 2014. Farms from those categories have seen their average size drop 27.2 percent since 2010 after their combined acreage dropped by 50 in 2014, data show.
Since 2010, the average size of Wisconsin farms that had sales between $100,000 and $249,999 decreased 35 acres to 264, farms with sales between $250,000 and $499,999 decreased 72 acres to 418 and farms with sales between $500,000 and $999,999 decreased 364 acres to 707.
Nationally, the number of farms was down 18,000 to 2.08 million, according to NASS data. Total land in farms decreased 1.03 million acres from 2013 to 913 million acres. Farms that have sales between $500,000 and $999,999 operate 17 percent of the nation’s farmland while farms with $1 million or more operate 24 percent.
Producers were asked during the 2014 mid-year surveys to report the value of sales based on production during calendar 2013, the NASS report said. Production or commodity price changes in 2013 resulted in total value for livestock and livestock products to increase while the value of most crops declined.