Iowa has 25-hundred fewer farms than it did at the turn of the century. The U.S. Department of Agriculture “Land in Farms” report shows there were 92-thousand 500 farms in Iowa in 2002…down from 95-thousand in 2000. That’s a decrease of two-point-seven percent, but the amount of land devoted to farming in the state dropped by just six-tenths of a percent, or 200-thousand acres, out of a final total of 32-million, 600-thousand acres being farmed. That’s largely because of consolidation, some farmers buying up neighboring land to enlarge their own farmsteads but also management corporations taking over small farms when owners retire or go out of business and are forced to sell. Nationally, the land-in-farms report actually showed an increase in the number of farms, but much of that growth is in those with less than 10-thousand dollars in annual sales, small suburban hobby farms commuter-distance big cities.
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