Number of Colorado Farms Declining
The number of farms and ranches across Colorado appears to be declining. But agriculture officials don’t think there’s particular cause for alarm.
A new report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics service says there were roughly 36,100 farms and ranches in the state last year. That’s a drop of about 100 operations from 2009.
But agriculture officials say the numbers are about what they anticipated – and that the report is actually an indicator that the farm economy is relatively stable right now.
“This year prices are still strong, commodity prices; there’s a big push for locally grown foods, so there’s a lot of those farms that continue to stay in business or have found markets,” says Colorado Ag statistics director Bill Meyers. “Things are on par, and going okay right now.”
Meyers says with the number of farms in Colorado, the loss of 100 isn’t a drastic change. The report defines a farm as any place that sells or produces at least $1,000 worth of products in a year, and encompasses small ranching and growing operations up to large crop farms and feedlots. Nationwide the number of farms has held fairly steady over the last two years, at roughly 2.2 million.