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February 12, 2010

2009 Missouri Farm Numbers Unchanged

(COLUMBIA, MO) - “Missouri farm numbers are estimated at 108,000, unchanged from last year,” said Gene Danekas, Director of the USDA-Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service. “We have seen both the number of small farms and large farms creeping upward over the past several years, while the number of medium size farms has been steadily declining.” A farm is defined as “any establishment from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were sold or would be sold during the year.” Missouri ranks second in total number of farms, following Texas. Total land in Missouri farms is estimated at 29.1 million acres with an average farm size of 269 acres.

Missouri farms in the economic sales class of $1,000 to $9,999 are estimated at 58,100, up 1 percent from a year earlier. Farms in the sales group of $10,000 to $99,999 totaled 37,800, down 1 percent from 2008. The $100,000 to $249,000 group is estimated at 5,200, down 9 percent from last year. Farms in the sales groups of $250,000 to $499,000 totaled 3,100, up 200 farms from 2008, while farms with sales of $500,000 and over totaled 3,800, also up 100 farms.

Number of Farms and Land in Farms 2009 U.S. Summary

The number of farms in the United States in 2009 is estimated at 2.2 million, virtually unchanged from 2008. Total land in farms, at 919.8 million acres, decreased 110 thousand acres from 2008. The average farm size is 418 acres, unchanged from the previous year.

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

Farm numbers declined slightly in the $10,000-$99,999 and $500,000 and over sales classes. Lower commodity prices and smaller value of sales contributed to changes in the number of farms within these sales classes. Farm numbers increased 0.5 percent, to 1.23 million farms, in the $1,000 - $9,999 sales class. Meanwhile, the number of farms in the $500,000 and over sales class decreased by 1.0 percent to 124,720 farms.

Land in farms decreased in the smallest and largest sales classes. In the $1,000-$9,999 sales class, land in farms dropped 1.1 percent, to 105.5 million acres. Land operated by farms in the $500,000 & over in sales class decreased 1.0 percent, to 290.0 million acres. Land operated by farms with $250,000-$499,999 in sales increased by 4.1 percent.

The average farm size was unchanged in 2009. However, average farm sizes declined in some of the sales classes partially due to smaller farms moving up to higher sales classes.