Ag census finds number of South Dakota farms dropping

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - The latest federal census of agriculture finds the number of farms in South Dakota has dropped.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2017 census, South Dakota's farmland was worked by fewer farming operations from 2012 to 2017. The census is conducted every five years.

Statewide, more than 43 million acres were operated as farms. But there were 2,000 fewer farming operations in the state in 2017 than in 2012.

The American News reports the biggest drop came from farms operating between 10 and 1,000 acres. That number dropped by 1,850 over those five years.

Nate Franzen, president of the Ag Banking Division at First Dakota National Bank based in Yankton, cites several reasons why farming operations are going out of business, including retirement, financial struggles and other business opportunities.

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