The number of farms in Indiana is decreasing, according to a census on agriculture released last week by the United States Department of Agriculture.
There are 2,200 fewer farms in Indiana than there were seven years ago.
Larry Lazarz operates a vegetable farm in Putnam County. He says the report reflects the changing nature of agriculture in the state.
“A large amount of losses are not due to the farms being shut down,” Lazarz said. “It’s the fact that the farms change hands and likely go to a larger farmer or a corporation.”
The amount of farmland has also decreased, according to the census. Indiana Farm Bureau spokesperson Andy Dietrick, says the four percent decline may not be simply a question of consolidation, but one of conservation.
“50,000 acres may sound like a lot, but that’s the kind of acreage that can go into conservation practices, which is set aside and not tillable land,” Dietrick said. “It also indicates that there are some farmland losses due to development.”
There are currently to 59,000 farms in Indiana.