USDA releases 2022 Census of Agriculture

USDA releases 2022 Census of Agriculture
Feb 14, 2024

Family farms account for 95 percent of all U.S. farms

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The United States Department of Agriculture has released its findings from the 2022 Census of Agriculture.

Here are some of the national highlights and how the figures compare to the 2017 census and to the 2002 census 20 years ago.

For context, the USDA definition of a farm is “any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year.”

Number of Farms

The 2022 census counted 1,900,487 farms (95 percent of which are family owned). That number of farms is down from 2,042,220 farms in 2017.

That means in the time between those two censuses, the U.S. lost 141,733 farms.

The 2002 census counted 2,128,982 farms – 228,495 more than the most recent census.

Land in Farms

U.S. farmers worked on 880,100,848 acres of land, the 2022 census found.

For context, that’s 1,375,157 square miles, or about double the total area of Alaska.

But American farmers are working on fewer acres than before.

In 2017, farmers farmed on 900,217,576 acres of land – meaning the U.S. has 20,116,728 fewer acres of farmland now than it did in 2017.

That loss is comparable to removing an area of land the size of South Carolina.

In 2002, farmers produced food on 938,279,056 acres – 58,090,209 acres more than what farmers have now.

The average size of an American farm is up.

An average American farm was 463 acres in 2022, compared to 441 acres in both 2017 and 2002.

Internet Access

The 2022 census found about 79 percent of U.S. farms, or around 1,501,384 farms, have internet access.

That number is about 21 times the number of farms (71,123) in Illinois.

Sales by State

In total, the U.S. produced $533 billion in agricultural products in 2022, compared to $388 billion in 2017 and $200 billion in 2002.

Ten U.S. states accounted for about 55 percent of sales in 2022.

California led the way with $59 billion.

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