CHARLESTON — Small farms — but not the smallest — declined in West Virginia last year, creating a net loss in the number of farms, total farmland and size of farms.
The National Agricultural Statistical Service of the U.S. department of Agriculture reported last week on farm size in the state and nation during 2018.
Farms that produced $10,000 to $99,999 in sales last year fell by 200 to 5,600. The 200 farms accounted for 100,000 acres of land lost to agriculture in the state.
The numbers for every other size of farm were unchanged from a year earlier, NASS said.
The net result was that in 2018, West Virginia had 23,400 farms totaling 3.6 million acres. The average farm size was 154 acres, down 3 acres from 2017.
• Farms producing $1,000 to $9,999 numbered 17,000, accounting for 1.6 million acres. The average farm size was 94 acres.
• Farms producing $100,000 to $249,999 numbered 370, accounting for 270,000 acres. The average farm size was 730 acres.
• Farms producing $250,000 to $499,999 numbered 130, accounting for 120,000 acres. The average farm size was 920 acres.
• Farms producing $500,000 to $999,999 numbered 150, accounting for 100,000 acres. The average farm size was 667 acres.
• Farms producing $1 million or more numbered 150, accounting for 110,000 acres. The average farm size was 733 acres.
The entire nation lost 12,800 farms in 2018. The total stood at 2.029 million in last week’s NASS report. Total land in farms stood at 899.5 million acres, down 870,000 acres from 2017. The average size of a farm in 2018 was 443 acres, up acres from 2017. o