Change in Oregon's Farms by Size and Scale, Census of Agriculture Highlights Part 1

Oregon’s agricultural sector grew by total farms and total sales – unlike the nation

  • The number of farms increased in Oregon by a net total of 2,177 (decreased nationally)
  • The value of farm production increased 2.5% to $5 billion (1.3% of total US production), while nationally total production declined -1.6% to $389 billion

Oregon is adding more small farms and more farms with low sales

  • A higher percentage of all farms in Oregon are small farms with less than 10 acres (33.3% of all Oregon farms and 13.4% of all US farms)
  • Small farms (less than 10 acres) are the fastest growing farm size in the state and increased 7.6% from 2012 (increased 2.8% nationally)
  • Average farm size decreased to 424 acres (441 nationally); half of all farms are less than 20 acres (75 acres nationally)
  • The number of farms with sales less than $2,500 increased 19% (decreased by -3% nationally)

Farms with sales over $1 million account for the majority of agricultural sales

  • 2.5% of all farms in Oregon produced 70% of all agricultural products sold (compared to 3.9% of all farms producing 69% of all sales nationally)
  • Total sales by farms selling $1 million or more increased 4.8% in Oregon, 1.8% nationally

In the past 5 years, Oregon saw slower farm consolidation than nation

  • The number of mid-scale farms (sales $50,000 to $499,999) decreased -1.3% (decreased -6.3% nationally)
  • Total sales by these mid-scale farms decreased by -2.2% (compared to -8.8% nationally)
  • Mid-scale farms contributed 12.4% of total sales (compared to 17.1% nationally)

Oregon’s agricultural production has been and remains more concentrated than the nation’s

  • 40% of all agricultural sales were generated by the 0.4 percent of all Oregon farms with sales of $5 million or more (compared to 35% nationally)
  • Faster expansion of sales among large scale farmers is closing the gap between the US and Oregon. In 2002, 54.4% of all sales came from large scale farms (sales over $1 million) in Oregon, compared to 47.9% nationally. (Compared to 70% and 69% percent of all sales in 2017)

Land in farms declined in both Oregon and the US

  • Oregon has 339,256 fewer acres in farms than it did 5 years ago (Statewide loss of -2.1%; National decline of -1.6%)

 

This is part of an ongoing effort to publicize and describe changes in Oregon’s agricultural sector. All data come from the United States Census of Agriculture, data is available for the nation, states and counties online. Pair this data with other Oregon data on the Rural Community Explorer.

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