Despite a four-percent drop, Missouri continues to have the second-most farms in the nation. USDA’s Census of Agriculture indicates that Missouri had 95,320 farms in operation during 2017, over 3,800 fewer than the previous census in 2012. Once again, only Texas had more. The average size of each farm grew by six acres to 291, but the number of farms closest to that figure experienced the biggest drop. Missouri had nearly 6,500 fewer farms between 50 and 499 acres, while the number of farms under 50 acres or over 1,000 acres both increased. Median farm size is 109 acres, a drop of 11 acres.
While overall acreage decreased by a half-million acres to 27.8 million, total cropland that was planted in 2017 increased by 340,000 acres to 15.6 million. Despite a drop in farm income nationwide, the total value of ag products sold from Missouri farms soared 15 percent to $10.5 billion. Net cash farm income per farm also jumped from 2012, averaging $29,000 per Missouri farm. A total of 162,000 Missouri producers were surveyed by USDA, with an average age of 57.4. That’s one year younger than the average in 2012. About one in ten producers is 35 years or younger.
The Census found that the U.S. lost 67,000 farms and 14 million acres of production between 2012 and 2017. Just over two million farms were in operation 2017, using 900 million acres. Nationwide production totaled $388.5 billion, with net farm income at $87.9 billion.