Top U.S. States With The Highest Number of Farms

Top U.S. States With The Highest Number of Farms

In the United States, there are more than two million farms of various sizes and types, producing a wide range of products. Farms in the U.S. cover a total area of 893.4 million acres across the country, with the agriculture sector contributing over $3.3 trillion to the nation’s economy.

With that said, you may be wondering which state is home to the highest number of farms. Let’s discuss this information in further detail, as well as what qualifies as a farm in this statistic.

Defining what farms are

According to the United States Agricultural Department (USDA), a farm carries $1,000 or more in agricultural products produced or sold during the year. Payments from the government count towards total sales.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) developed an exception for farms that did not make $1,000 in sales but normally would have. These farms are referred to as “point farms”. Each crop acre and livestock amount is assigned a dollar value that must equal to at least $1,000. The NASS created this exception for small farms that have had a particularly bad year due to disease, changes in marketing strategy, and weather challenges. 

The following industries are included under the formal “farm” definition:

  • Ranches

  • Institutional farms

  • Experimental and research farms

  • First Nations Reservations

  • Lands with their entire acreage enrolled in either the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) or Wetland Reserve Program (WRP)

  • Government conservation programs 

The impact of farming on the U.S. economy

The USDA projects that the agriculture and food sector will contribute a total revenue of $151.1 billion to the economy in 2023, as reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the agriculture sector contributed 22.1 million full- and part-time jobs in 2022—12.7 million were eating and drinking places, and 2.1 million were a result of food, beverage, and tobacco manufacturing.

In 2021, the food and beverage manufacturing sector was divided into several categories. Among them, 8.9% of jobs were dedicated to vegetable and fruit products, 3.3% were in the animal husbandry sector, and 8.8% were in dairy. However, the largest sector was meat manufacturing, which accounted for 30.6% of all jobs. This included the production of sheep, chicken, cow, and pig meat. The USDA Economic Research Service used data from the U.S. Department of Commerce and Bureau of Economic Analysis to determine these numbers. 

High agriculture and farming efforts resulted in the United States being the largest corn producer globally, using 96 million acres of land for maize production. Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Missouri, and Kentucky are home to the largest number of maize plantations in the country. Corn production supports food, seed, and industrial purposes. 

States with the most amount of farms

Let’s review the statistics for the highest number of farms per state based on the latest data. 

U.S. State 

Number of Farms





















Wisconsin and Nebraska are two other popular farming states. Research from the USDA estimates that there were 44,300 operating farms in Nebraska in 2022 and 64,100 farms in Wisconsin. 

Research from the Extension Agricultural Economics shows that Texas consistently has the most farms out of all U.S. states, ranking first in cattle, sheep, goat, and cotton sales. 

Interpreting the data

Texas has long since been the agriculture state for a number of reasons. According to the Texas State Historical Association, before the European settlers landed in Texas, this state grew corn, squash, and beans. In fact, it was the Pueblo tribes who both grew food, cultivated cotton, and invented a number of key irrigation techniques that are used today. 

The early Spanish settlers landed, introducing goats, sheep, cattle, and hogs, which expanded farming operations and introduced the concept of ranches and large plantations. 

Since the onset of early farming days, there have been a number of advancements in the agriculture sector that have expanded Texas’ capacity to become and lead in farming. Such practices include mechanization, improved seed varieties, and the involvement of electricity in the agricultural industry. 

Today, Texas has 246,000 farms and over 130 million acres of land. The state produces a number of different products, including citrus crops, cotton, rice paddies, and livestock like sheep and cattle. With many farms in the state, it’s not surprising that a significant portion of employment is based in the agriculture industry—that is, one out of seven Texans work on a farm. 

While Texas has the largest number of farms, it generates less cash receipts than other states. For instance, in 2021, California produced 11.8% of cash receipts, Iowa produced 8%, Nebraska produced 6.1%, and Texas produced 5.7%. 

Need access to financing? Check out Silo’s offerings

Despite the large number of farms present in the United States, the agriculture sector is facing challenges in the United States. The number of farms is actually seeing a decline, but the population and demand for products are not. Growers are working hard to put food on Americans' plates and supply quality products to families. 

Despite challenges in the sector, there are a number of finance options that supply chain businesses can utilize to increase their working capital and push past challenges. Rather than turning to banks, who often favor the business of larger options, smaller businesses can seek alternative funding sources. 

Silo offers solutions designed specifically for small to medium-sized businesses.

Silo Instant Pay, for instance, is a form of invoice financing that bridges the gap between customer payments. Silo will provide up to 90% of the invoice amount in three days so that you can keep your business growing. 

Meanwhile, Silo Cash Advance helps businesses improve their strategy and operations with upfront money and capital. Don’t wait for the bank to catch up, drive innovation and make moves today. 

Book a demo with Silo to find out how you can keep moving forward and grow your business today!

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