When it comes to the size of farms, The Census of Agriculture ranks North Dakota first among the states in the number of large farms.
Prairie Business cites the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Census of Agriculture, stating that in 2012, about 35 percent of North Dakota farms were 1,000 or more acres. To put that number in perspective, the average for all fifty states’ 1,000-plus acre farms is only eight percent.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s statistics show how all the states stack up when it comes to the number of farms and the total acreage of farms for each state.
Why is North Dakota at the top? A small population, an influx of people into cities has left an abundance of land up for grabs, and farmers have taken advantage of this.
Not everyone may agree about the definition of a large farm. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s largest category for farms is 2,000 acres or more, but there are farms with thousands of more acres than that.
However, bigger farms may not be the answer. A farm with a lot of land may not see the care that a smaller farm does. Also, severe weather conditions like storms and droughts can be destructive to large farms.
Even though the number of large farms is high, entering the farming business is not easy. Bigger farms mean bigger machinery, which can cost farmers up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
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