USDA’s Economic Research Service’s (ERS) latest report, “Farm Size and the Organization of U.S. Crop Farming,” shows that consolidation and specialization is continuing in U.S. agriculture.  The report indicates the midpoint acreage for U.S. cropland nearly doubled between 1982 and 2007 from 589 acres to 1,105 acres.  The largest increases where in the Corn Belt states and the northern plains states. 

The report said, “The long-term shifts in farm size have been accompanied by greater specialization, beginning with a separation of livestock farming from crop farming in the latter half of the 20th century.  As crop and livestock production separated, full-time crop farmers could devote more time to crop production and manage more cropland.”