Nearly one-half of the agricultural production enterprises in Wisconsin that are officially classified as farms had product sales worth between $1,000-$9,999 during 2012, according to a report by the Wisconsin field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Of the approximately 76,800 farms in Wisconsin during 2012, the report indicated that 36,800 of them had gross value sales of $1,000-$9,999.
At the other end of the economic scale, the state had 4,300 farms with gross value sales worth more than $500,000 and another 5,900 at $250,000-$499,999.
For compiling the statistics, a farm is defined as any place on which the agricultural production yielded items that were sold or normally could have been sold for at least $1,000 during the year. These include ranches, institutional farms, experimental and research facilities, and Indian reservations.
Government payments are included in determining the gross value of sales. This means that places where the entire acreage is enrolled in a conservation reserve, wetland, or other government program are also counted as farms.
During 2012, the number of farms fitting the criteria in Wisconsin dropped by 200. There were decreases of 700 in the lowest sales category and of 100 to a total of 9,200 for farms with sales worth $100,000-$249,999.
While there was no change in the number of farms with sales above $500,000, the $250,000-$499,999 group posted an increase of 400-5,900 and the $10,000-$99,999 group added 200 for a total of 20,600.
There were minimal changes in the average size of the state's farms in 2012. From the lowest to the highest gross value sales groups, the average sizes were 60, 146, 272, 458, and 1,070 acres. The overall per farm average held at 195 acres and the total land in farms in Wisconsin remained at 15 million acres.
Across the nation in 2012, farm numbers were estimated at 2.2 million, down by 11,630 from 2011. The total land in farms decreased by 3 million acres, leaving the total at 914 million acres or an average of 421 acres per farm.
The number of farms with $500,000 or more in sales during 2012 increased by 8.6 percent to 145,190. Well over one-half of the nation's farms - 1.1722 million - had sales valued at between $1,000-$9,999 while the next highest category was the slightly more than 600,000 farms with sales between $10,000-$99,999.
The other two statistical groups posted respective numbers gains of 1.9 and 1.1 percent during 2012.