U.S. Wheat Farms Dropped 40 Percent in 20 Years

The Economic Research Service says the number of U.S. wheat farms has dropped substantially over time. Since 2002, the total number of wheat farms fell by over 40 percent, from 169,528 in 2002 to 97,014 in 2022.

In addition to the decline in wheat farms, wheat production is down slightly but has been variable year to year. The ERS says annual wheat production ranged from about 1.6 billion bushels in marketing year 2002-2003 to as much as 2.5 billion bushels in 2008-2009. However, wheat production didn’t exceed two billion bushels from 2017 through 2023. The ERS says the reduction in the number of farms reporting wheat harvested area occurred across all wheat classes.

The number of farms producing durum wheat saw the largest percentage drop, down nearly 60 percent from the 2002 Census and 30 percent from the 2017 Census. Only five states saw increases in the number of wheat farms.

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