ByCynthia Voelkl/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Based on a midyear survey, the USDA estimates there were 2.023 million farms in the nation in 2019, a tiny decline of 5,800 farms from the previous year. The change is more dramatic when the time frame is widened — there are 3% fewer farms now than there were in 2014, and the amount of farmland, 897.4 million acres, or 1.4 million square miles, fell by 1.3% during that five-year period.
A White House assessment revealed that climate change will affect the agriculture industry in several ways. Rising temperatures will cause some crops to no longer be productive, while also creating ideal conditions for insects. More extreme weather events will rapidly erode the soil and cause planting delays in some areas.