The total number of farms in Iowa in 2017 was 86,900, down 100 farms compared with a year ago, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The largest decrease in number of farms came in the $500,000-$999,999 range, with a decrease of 300 farms, from 10,000 in 2016 to 9,700 in 2017, according to the Farms and Land in Farms 2017 Summary report from NASS released Feb. 16.
Total land in farms in Iowa in 2017 was 30.5 million acres, unchanged since 2014. However, total land in farms in the $100,000-$249,999 range rose to 3 million acres, while total land in farms in the $1 million and over range fell to 9.5 million acres.
The average farm size in Iowa in 2017 was 351 acres, unchanged from last year. The average farm size in the $500,000-$999,999 range increased 28 acres from 890 in 2016 to 918 acres in 2017.
In the United States, the number of farms for 2017 is estimated at 2.05 million, down 12,000 farms from 2016. Total land in farms, at 910 million acres, decreased 1 million acres from 2016. The average U.S. farm size for 2017 is 444 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 adding the sales of agricultural products and government program payments. Sales class breaks occur at $10,000, $100,000, $250,000, $500,000 and $1 million.
Producers were asked during the 2017 mid-year surveys to report the value of sales based on production during the 2016 calendar year.
The number of U.S. farms in sales classes $100,000-$249,999 and $1 million or more increased while all other sales classes declined. Fifty percent of all farms had less than $10,000 in sales. Eighty percent of all farms had less than $100,000 in sales, and 8 percent of all farms had sales of $500,000 or more.
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 2012 Census of Agriculture showed that 428,810 farms or 20.3 percent of the 2.11 million farms were Point Farms. These farms operated 63 million acres or 6.9 percent of the 914.5 million acres of farmland.