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Number of Farms by Market Value

Massachusetts Agricultural Census 2012

We have observed that most Massachusetts farms operate on a limited number of acres. It is also true that most Massachusetts farms are small when we consider the market value of products sold. The pie chart below shows the percentages of Massachusetts farms that fall into each of eight different sales categories. When represented as a percentage of the total number of farms in 2012, there appears to be a slight uptick in the number of farms that sold $2,500 or less in agricultural products as compared to 2007; 47 percent of the state's farms fall into this category, compared to 43 percent in 2007. In 2012, 11 percent of the state's farms sold between $10,000 and $24,999 in agricultural products, slightly less than in 2007.  Nine percent of the state's farms had sales in the range of $2,500 to $4,999 and 11 percent sold less than $9,999 but more than $5,000. Only 3 percent of the state's farms sold $500,000 or more of agricultural products, which has held steady since 2007.

Because farm numbers continued to increase slightly, the minimal change in the percentages of farms in each category conceals increases in the numbers of farms in the different sales categories. The distribution of farms by the value of products sold has seen some changes in the past five years. In 2012, 3,663 farms fell into the category of making less than $2,500 for that year.  This number increased by 10 percent from 2007 and represents the largest increase in a value of sales class. The number of farms that sold between $10,000 and $24,999 of agricultural products declined by nearly 7 percent between 2007 and 2012, which shows a reversal from the nearly 45 percent increase in this sales class between 2002 and 2007. There were 861 farms in this sales class in Massachusetts in 2012. The second largest increase of 8.54 percent in the number of farms was seen in the sales value category of more than $50,000 to $99,999. The number of farms in this category increased to 432 in 2012 as compared to 398 farms in 2007.