Report: Number of Colorado farms up in 2011

The total number of farms and ranches in Colorado increased last year, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Farms and ranches in Colorado in 2011 totaled 36,700, up 300 from 2010, according to National Agricultural Statistics Services numbers cited in the USDA release.

Total farmland in Colorado in 2011 was unchanged from 2010, while the average size of a farm in Colorado decreased from 860 acres in 2010 to 853 acres in 2011, according to the release.

Nationally, the total number of farms and ranches in 2011 was estimated at 2.2 million, down slightly from 2010, according to the release.

Total farmland in the country was estimated at 917 million acres, a decrease of 1.85 million acres from 2010. The average size of a farm increased nationally from 419 acres in 2010 to 420 acres in 2011, according to the release.

USDA defines a farm as “any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year,” including government payments, according to the release.

Ranches, institutional farms, experimental and research farms, and Indian Reservations are included as farms, as are any operations with entire acreage enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, Wetlands Reserve Program or any other similar government program, according to the release.

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