New York Field Offic

Fact Finders for Agriculture"

(518) 457-5570


Contact:  William Blackson

Friday, February 1, 2008


For the fourth consecutive year, farm numbers in New York dropped, reports Stephen Ropel, Director of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York Field Office. The number of farms for 2007 is estimated at 34,200, a decrease of 800 below 2006.  Land in farms held steady at 7.50 million acres, raising the average farm size to 219 acres, 5 acres more than the previous year.    Farms with sales over $500,000 increased by 50 to 1,350 and farms with sales between $250,000 and $499,999 rose by 150 to 1,750.  The area of land operated by farms in these two groups totaled 2.57 million acres, 5 percent above a year ago.  The next smaller sales class, farms with sales between $100,000 and $249,999 increased by 200 to 3,000 while land operated by these farms dropped 50,000 acres.  Average farm size as a result fell from 446 acres to 400 acres.  There were 11,300 farms with sales between $10,000 and $99,999 compared with 10,700 a year earlier.  Land they operated totaled 2.09 million acres.  There were 1,800 fewer small farms with sales between $1,000 and $9,999 in 2007, at 16,800.  Land in farms for this class decreased 110,000 acres from the previous year to 1.64 million acres for an average farm size of 98 acres. 

The number of farms in the United States in 2007 is estimated at 2.08 million, 0.6 percent fewer than in 2006. Total land in farms, at 930.9 million acres, decreased 1.5 million acres, or 0.16 percent, from 2006. The average farm size was 449 acres during 2007, an increase of three acres from the previous year. The decline in the number of farms and land in farms reflects a continuing consolidation in farming operations and diversion of agricultural land to nonagricultural uses.

Farm numbers declined in the $1,000 - $9,999 and the $10,000 - $99,999 sales classes. Farm numbers rose slightly in the three largest sales classes. The changes within the sales classes were a result of operations moving to larger sales classes by consolidation or expansion and rising incomes as result of strong commodity prices. Because of rising incomes, many farms and ranches near the top of their sales class in 2006 moved into the next higher sales class in 2007 without adding land or otherwise expanding their operations.

The largest percentage changes from 2006 occurred in the smallest and largest sales classes. Farm numbers declined 1.5 percent, to 1.14 million farms, in the $1,000 - $9,999 sales class. Meanwhile, farm numbers increased 4.4 percent, to 84,970 farms, in the $500,000 and over sales class. The number of farms with less than $100,000 in sales fell 1.2 percent from 2006 while the number of farms with $100,000 or more in sales rose 2.2 percent.