On Apr. 11, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the data from the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Taken once every five years, the Census of Agriculture includes a complete count of all U.S. farms and farmers. It covers everything from sprawling operations to small family farms and urban vegetable gardens, as long as the business sells at least $1,000 worth of agricultural products in the census year. This census provides the most comprehensive source of agricultural data in the U.S and reveals important information about where the future of farming is headed.

Scroll through the slideshow to learn some of the most interesting statistics taken from the latest Census of Agriculture.

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Number of Farms

future of farming

Photo: Jeffrey S. Otto

According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, the total number of farms in the U.S. declined from 2.11 million in 2012 to 2.04 million in 2017. While the number of both large and small farms increased, the number of mid-size farms declined in all categories. The total acres of farmland in the country also fell from 914.5 million to 900.2 million.

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