After peaking at 6.8 million farms in 1935, the number of U.S. farms and ranches fell sharply through the early 1970s. Rapidly falling farm numbers in the mid-20th century reflect the growing productivity of agriculture, increased mechanization, and increased nonfarm employment opportunities.
Since 1982, the number of U.S. farms has continued to decline, but much more slowly. In 2022, there were 2.0 million U.S. farms, down from 2.2 million in 2007. Similarly, the acres of land in farms continue a downward trend with 893 million acres in 2022, down from 915 million acres 10 years earlier.
The average farm size in 2022 was 446 acres, only slightly greater than the 440 acres recorded in the early 1970s. This chart appears in the ERS data product Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials, updated March 2023.
-- Planting progress: Nationwide, corn planting moved ahead 6 percentage points last week to reach 14% as of Sunday, April 23. That is 7 percentage points ahead of last year and 3 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 11%. Notable states: The top two corn-producing states of Iowa and Illinois were 10% and 18% planted, respectively, noted DTN Senior Analyst Dana Mantini. Missouri was 58% planted, with Texas at 72%.
-- Crop progress: 3% of corn had emerged as of Sunday, slightly ahead of 2% for both last year and the five-year average.
-- Planting progress: Soybean planting moved ahead 5 percentage points last week to reach 9% as of Sunday, 6 percentage points ahead of last year's 3% and 5 points ahead of the five-year average of 4%. Notable states: Illinois was 15% planted, and Iowa was 5% planted. Louisiana was at 41% and Mississippi at 34% planted -- both well ahead of average, Mantini noted.
-- Crop condition: Nationwide, winter wheat was rated 26% good to excellent, down 1 percentage from 27% good to excellent the previous week and the lowest in over three decades. "Forty-one percent of the crop is rated very poor to poor -- up 2 points from a week ago," Mantini said. "The crop in Kansas is 14% good to excellent with 62% poor to very poor. Texas and Oklahoma are just 14% and 6% good to excellent, with 63% of Oklahoma and 55% of Texas in poor to very poor condition. Soft red states Indiana and Illinois had 76% and 78% of the crop rated good to excellent, respectively."
-- Crop development: 18% of winter wheat was headed nationwide as of Sunday, up 8 percentage points from the previous week and 4 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 14%.
-- Planting progress: 5% of the spring wheat crop was planted as of Sunday, down from the five-year average of 12%. Notable states: "Montana was only 5% planted, North Dakota was just 1% and Minnesota has not begun to plant," Mantini said.
-- Crop progress: Just 1% of spring wheat was emerged as of Sunday, behind the five-year average of 3%.
Sorghum bran, often a low-cost byproduct of sorghum milling, can enhance gluten-free bread's nutritional value without compromising its flavor, according to a study published in the Journal of Food Science.
While gluten-free foods are in demand to meet consumers' medical needs and dietary preferences, these foods sometimes are deficient in nutrients and lack taste and texture that appeals to consumers. In gluten-free bread, wheat flour is typically replaced with refined flour and starches from other sources. Adding dietary fiber, a carbohydrate found in whole grains that has important health benefits, to gluten-free bread can lead to a hard texture and more rapid staling.
To find solutions to these challenges, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) researchers studied sumac sorghum bran, classified as a brown tannin-containing variety with antioxidant properties and dietary fiber, as a possible substitute for wheat flour in gluten-free bread.
The Andersons, Inc. (Nasdaq: ANDE) announces that on April 18, 2023, ELEMENT, LLC (ELEMENT), a joint venture with ICM, Inc. in which The Andersons, Inc. is a 51% owner, was placed into receivership pursuant to the Agreed Order Granting Application for Appointment of Receiver. The ELEMENT ethanol plant, located in Colwich, Kansas, is currently in an extended maintenance shutdown and future operating decisions will be made by the court-appointed receiver.
The plant, which opened in 2019, has faced operational and market-based challenges. These have been exacerbated by a shift in the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard credit markets and high western corn basis. As previously disclosed, these challenging conditions led to the failure by ELEMENT to make a required debt payment and receipt of a default notice in February 2023. This debt of ELEMENT is non-recourse to the company. The company expects to record a non-cash pretax impairment charge on long-lived assets related to ELEMENT of approximately $85 - $95 million, 51% of which will be attributable to the company. This range is preliminary and will be finalized as part of the company's ongoing normal quarterly close process.