Massachusetts Agricultural Census 2012
Half of the counties gained farmland – and half of the counties lost farmland. Not only did half of the counties lose farmland, more than half of the counties saw a decrease in their average farm size as farm numbers increased. While we saw some gains in the number of farms in some larger farm sales category, there were also a number of larger farms that stopped farming in Massachusetts between 2007 and 2012. Farms in Barnstable (7.7 percent), Dukes (47.9 percent), Franklin (7.4 percent), Nantucket (40.9 percent), and Plymouth (39.2 percent) Counties saw increases in average farm sizes. Counties whose average farm size declined included: Berkshire (7.8 percent); Bristol (3.9 percent); Essex (17.3 percent); Hampden (8.2 percent); Hampshire (8.1 percent); Middlesex (20.8 percent); Norfolk (11.3 percent); Suffolk (100 percent); and Worcester (5.8 percent).