Census says farming is on the rise

COLRAIN, Mass. (WWLP)-  The Census says America has fewer Farms, but they’re doing better financially. A new government survey found that the value of agricultural products are reaching record highs even though the number of farms has declined.

New census information reveals that American agriculture is experiencing a boom.  Even though the number of farms dropped by 4 percent, the average farm grew from 418 acres to 434.  U.S farms sold nearly 400 billion dollars in products, an increase from 5 years earlier. 22news visited a franklin county farm to find out if smaller farms are participating in the nation-wide boom.

The value of livestock and produce is at a record high, but some farmers say the cost to raise cattle and grow crops eats away at the profits. Owner of Hager’s Farm, Chip Hager, told 22News why he doesn’t always see the increase in profits. “the grain farmer in the Midwest, he has a good year and his crops sell for a good price. That’s great for him but that costs us more on this end because the grain we buy for our animals of course is a lot more expensive.”

Hager’s Farm does most of its business with the local community. Local co-ops distribute his dairy and beef, but the farm sells its fruits and vegetables at a roadside market.

The U.S Department of Agriculture showed that the number of farms in Massachusetts has increased since 2007. The average size of farms increased by more than 5,000 acres.

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