Mar 04, 2014

Census Report says Wisconsin Saw a Loss in Farms and Acres Farmed

The state lost 8,700 farms and more than 620,000 acres of land in farms (land no longer part of a farm but not necessarily developed) from 2007 to 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Preliminary Census of Agriculture. The full report will be out in May, according to USDA. This article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that agricultural economists were surprised by the decline in farmed acreage in Wisconsin. Quoting the article, “Agricultural economist Bruce Jones (UW-Madison) said he was ‘a little bit surprised’ by the loss of farmland…Other reports on land sales have shown a decrease in acres leaving farming. Jones said that led him to believe the loss in farmland was largely in pastures, woodland and property less suited to agriculture. In some cases, he said, farmers could be selling marginal land to raise money to buy more expensive and valuable cropland.” We’ll look forward to the full report in May.