USDA has released the 2022 Census of Agriculture survey data. Conducted every five years, the census provides a snapshot of farm numbers, structure, production, demographics, economics, and income estimates. The 2022 data reveals a significant drop in the number of farms nationwide, particularly midsized operations. Now at 1.9 million, the 2017 Census reported 2.04 million farms.

The data catalyzed a multitude of calls to support small and midsized farms and ranches. However, data shows that agricultural production has seen substantial growth at the same time, indicating that American agriculture has continued to produce more with fewer but larger farms over time. In the weeks before the census data, USDA reported net farm income reached $186 billion in 2022, but its first projections for 2024 pointed to a continued and sharp 25% decline. This volatility in income and prices has led to much of current and future policy debate.

Read more on the latest Census of Agriculture data here.