Editor's Note: The following article was first published at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau website.

The number of farms in Wisconsin in 2011 was 77,000. This was down 500 farms from the previous year. Total land in farms decreased slightly from 2010 to 15.0 million acres. Average farm size remained at 195 acres.

In Wisconsin the number of farms in both the highest sales class ($500,000 and over) and the $100,000‐$249,999 sales class increased from 2010, while the number of farms in the two lowest sales classes decreased. Number of farms with $250,000‐$499,999 in sales remained unchanged from last year, at 5,500 farms.

In 2011 the number of farms in the highest sales class, with sales of $500,000 or more, increased by 400 farms, to 4,300. The number of farms with sales of $100,000‐$249,999 increased by 500 farms, to 9,300. In 2011 there were 37,500 farms in the lowest sales class, a decrease of 1,300 from the previous year, and the number of farms in the $10,000‐$99,999 sales class decreased by 100, to 20,400 farms.

The number of farms in the U.S. in 2011 was estimated at 2.2 million, down slightly from 2010. Total land in farms, at 917 million acres, decreased 1.85 million acres from 2010. The average farm size in the U.S. was 420 acres, up 1 acre from the previous year.

Wisconsin farm numbers down from 2010Nationally, farm numbers increased slightly in the $10,000‐$99,999, $250,000‐$499,999, and $500,000 and over sales classes. Higher commodity prices and larger values of sales contributed to changes in the number of farms within these sales classes. Farm numbers increased 1.3 percent, to slightly over 600,000 farms in the $10,000‐$99,999 sales class, and 1.9 percent in the $250,000‐$499,999 sales class, to over 100,000 farms. Meanwhile the number of farms in the $500,000 and over sales class increased by 5.9 percent, to 133,570 farms.

The North Central region is made up of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. This region held 37 percent of all U.S. farms and was second to the South in total number of farms.

A farm is "any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year.” Government payments are included in sales. Ranches, institutional farms, experimental and research farms, and Indian Reservations are included as farms. Places where the entire acreage is enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), or other government programs are counted as farms.