The recent 2012 Ag Census sheds light on new shifts in farm sizes and sales. Not surprisingly, the biggest crop and livestock farms are continuing to expand. Even though the total number of farms has slipped 4.3%, large farms – those over 1,000 acres – have cropped up.

Large Farm Ag Census Data:

  • Farms with more than 1,000 acres of corn have increased by 7%.
  • Farms with more than 1,000 acres of cows have increased by 14%.
  • Large egg farms, with over 100,000 hens, now own 77% of the nation’s hen population.


Clearly, large farms are killing it in terms of expanding production. But what about smaller farming operations? What does that data suggest?

Well, the data points to progress.

Even though the total number of farms with under 50 acres slipped 4%, specialized farms scored some wins.

Small Farm Ag Census Data:

  • Small farms (under 50 acres) growing corn increased by 5%.
  • Small farms with under 20 milks cows increased by 12%.
  • Farms with fewer than 100 hens increased by 38%.
  • Specialized farms, especially organic farms, have realized substantial growth as a result of online communications and local selling at farmers markets and other market networks.
  • Smaller farms have realized a substantial growth in sales.


It’s likely that the next Ag Census in 2017 will show this small-farm expansion continuing! Good news for small farming ventures!

Are you seeking to expand production? Need farmland financing support? Consider our one-of-a-kind ag lending program: AgAmerica. Interest rates for these loans often beat all other agriculture loan programs and support a variety of agriculture projects and resets. Whether you’re buying more cattle or hens, or you’re looking to expand your corn fields, these ag loans have you covered. To learn more about these farm loan options, contact us today!