04-18-19 USDA/NASS Rocky Mountain Region: Farms and Land in Farms Report

FARMS AND LAND IN FARMS

ARIZONA
The number of farms and ranches in Arizona in 2018 totaled 19,200, up 100 operations from the 2017 estimate. Total land in farms in Arizona, at 26.2 million acres, was up less than one-half percent from the 2017 estimate. The average size of farm was 1,365 acres, compared to 1,366 acres the previous year.

COLORADO
The number of farms and ranches in Colorado in 2018 totaled 38,900, unchanged from the 2017 estimate. Total land in farms in Colorado, at 31.8 million acres, was unchanged from the 2017 estimate. The average size of farm was 817 acres, unchanged from the previous year.

MONTANA
The number of farms and ranches in Montana in 2018 totaled 26,900, down 100 operations from the 2017 estimate. Total land in farms in Montana, at 58.0 million acres, was down less than one-half percent from the 2017 estimate. The average size of farm was 2,156 acres, compared to 2,152 acres the previous year.

NEW MEXICO
The number of farms and ranches in New Mexico in 2018 totaled 24,700, down 300 operations from the 2017 estimate. Total land in farms in New Mexico, at 40.5 million acres, was down less than one-half percent from the 2017 estimate. The average size of farm was 1,640 acres, compared to 1,628 acres the previous year.

UTAH
The number of farms and ranches in Utah in 2018 totaled 18,100, down 300 operations from the 2017 estimate. Total land in farms in Utah at 10.7 million acres, was down 1 percent from the 2017 estimate. The average size of farm was 591 acres, compared to 587 acres the previous year.

WYOMING
The number of farms and ranches in Wyoming in 2018 totaled 11,900, unchanged from the 2017 estimate. Total land in farms in Wyoming, at 29.0 million acres, was unchanged from the 2017 estimate. The average size of farm was 2,437 acres, unchanged from the previous year.

UNITED STATES
The number of farms in the United States for 2018 is estimated at 2,029,200, down 12,800 farms from 2017. Total land in farms, at 899,500,000 acres, decreased 870,000 acres from 2017. The average farm size for 2018 is 443 acres, up 2 acres from the previous year.

Farm numbers and land in farms are differentiated by six economic sales classes. Farms and ranches are classified into these six sales classes by summing the sales of agricultural products and government program payments. Sales class breaks occur at $10,000, $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, and $1,000,000. Producers were asked during the 2018 mid-year surveys to report the value of sales based on production during the 2017 calendar year.

Point Farms are farms that did not have the required minimum $1,000 in sales for the year to qualify as a farm, but had sufficient crops and livestock to normally have sales of $1,000 or more. Point Farms are assigned a sales class based on the sum of the agricultural point (dollar) values assigned to the quantity of commodities produced but not sold. The 2017 Census of Agriculture showed that 471,593 farms or 23.1 percent of the 2.04 million farms were Point Farms. These Point Farms operated 59.2 million acres or 6.6 percent of the 900.2 million acres of farmland.

Number of farms declined by 12,800 from 2017. The number of farms in Sales Class $500,000 – $999,999 increased while all other sales classes declined. Fifty-one percent of all farms had less than $10,000 in sales. Eighty-two percent of all farms had less than $100,000 in sales. Seven percent of all farms had sales of $500,000 or more.

Land in farms, at 899,500,000 acres, is down 870,000 acres from 2017. The biggest change for 2018 is that producers in Sales Class $250,000 – $499,999 operated 1,080,000 fewer acres than in 2017. In 2018, 30.1 percent of all farmland was operated by farms with less than $100,000 in sales, while 40.8 percent of all farmland was operated by farms with sales of $500,000 or more.

The average farm size continued to increase in 2018 as the number of farms declined more than land in farms. The overall average size increased by 2 acres to 443 acres per farm. Average farm size decreased in the $500,000 – $999,999 sales class and increased or remained unchanged in all others.

USDA’s definition of a farm is “any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year.” Government payments are included in sales. Ranches, institutional farms, experimental and research farms, and Indian Reservations are included as farms. Places with the entire acreage enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), and other government conservation programs are counted as farms.

The definition of a farm was first established in 1850 and has changed nine times since. The current definition was first used for the 1974 Census.

Land in farms consists of agricultural land used for crops, pasture, or grazing. Also included is woodland and wasteland not actually under cultivation or used for pasture or grazing, provided it was part of the farm operator’s total operation. Land in farms includes acres in CRP, WRP, and other government conservation programs. Land in farms includes land owned and operated as well as land rented from others. Land used rent-free is included as land rented from others. All grazing land, except land used under government permits on a per-head basis, is included as land in farms provided it was part of a farm or ranch. Land under the exclusive use of a grazing association is reported by the grazing association and included as land in farms. All land in American Indian reservations used for growing crops or grazing livestock is included as land in farms. Land in reservations not reported by individual American Indians or non-Native Americans is reported in the name of the cooperative group that used the land. In many instances, the entire American Indian reservation is reported as one farm.

For a full copy of the Farms and Land in Farms report please visit http://www.nass.usda.gov.

For state specific questions please contact:Arizona – Dave DeWalt 1-800-645-7286
Colorado – William R. Meyer 1-800-392-3202
Montana – Eric Sommer 1-800-835-2612
New Mexico – Longino Bustillos 1-800-530-8810
Utah – John Hilton 1-800-747-8522
Wyoming – Rhonda Brandt 1-800-892-1660

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