National Geographic News

Amid a National Decline, Some States Are Gaining Farms

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) census released Friday, the U.S. lost farms and acres of farmland between 2007 and 2012. Although most states experienced a decline in number of farms, many gained farms and farmland. One surprise? The increase in desert states like Nevada and New Mexico, where popular specialty fruits and vegetables are now grown.

Percent change
in the number of farms

Percent change
in acres of farmland

Graphic by John Tomanio, Kelsey Nowakowski, Anna Scalamogna and Xaquín G.V.; Source: USDA
An earlier version of this graphic mistakenly placed Oregon in the "fewer farms, more acreage" category based on an analysis later revised.
food interactive screenshot.jpg

Published May 2, 2014

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) census released today, the U.S. lost farms and acres of farmland between 2007 and 2012. Although most states experienced a decline in number of farms, many gained farms and farmland. One surprise? The increase in desert states like Nevada and New Mexico, where popular specialty fruits and vegetables are now grown.

3 comments
Tye Roylance
Tye Roylance

Bought 10 acres as a Hobby Farm. Growing lots of berries and apples. I think that the Hobby farm is increasing in number but these statistics dont show that.

D. Kirby
D. Kirby

Born and raised in Connecticut, it delights me to see there are more farms as opposed to factories.

Diane Roark
Diane Roark

Woo hoo! It does my heart good to know that farming and the farming way of life is making a comeback-- a small one, but still, a growing one. Hallelujah! More green spaces, less black top! I know it's a hard way of life, but it is a vital and valuable one.

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