Ag Census shows slight drop in number of farms

DES MOINES — Information just released from the 2017 Census on Agriculture shows the number of Iowa farms dropped, while their size increased.

The USDA’s census shows the number of farms in Iowa dropped by two-point-nine percent to 86,104. The average size of the farms increased by the same percentage to 355 acres.

The data shows the value of agricultural products sold by Iowa farmers totaled $29 billion — which was down six  percent from the 2012 survey. Crop sales were down 20 percent to $13.8 billion, while livestock sales were up 12 percent to $15.1 billion.

Iowa was second in the nation for total value of ag products and livestock sold in 2017 with Iowa’s crop sales ranking third highest. Farmers spent a total of $23.5 billion dollars on production expenses in 2017, down one percent from 2012.