The Woolwich Observer

ROBERTS: Census data will bear watching to measure shifts in farming

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about 32,000 farms.

And farms 70-130 acres saw the biggest increase of all, with nearly 1,000 more units. Those are definitely what you’d call small farms, and there’s little doubt the operators are working off farm to complement their in-farm income.

But what they’re growing could well be the local food we’re buying at farmers’ markets and at select retailers, the ones that don’t operate on volume.

They’re not huge producers, but they’re targeted. And according to the census, they’re growing.

So there’s some good news: big and small productive farms are on the upswing. Those in the middle are productive too. But they’re getting hammered by the high costs of running a farm, and don’t have the volume to cover it. We’ll see what happens to them in the next five years, when we have a reliable comparison.

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