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.

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.