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In 1900, Iowa had a population of 2,231,000 people and had 228,622 farms. In 2017, Iowa had a population of 3,142,000 people and had 86,900 farms.

In 1900, the average farm size was 151 acres. 340 farms were over 1,000 acres. In 2017, the average farm size was 355 acres; more than 8400 farms were over 1,000 acres.

In 1900, there were more than 3000 farms (averaging 38 acres) with principal income from growing fruits or vegetables. In 2017, 1094 farms harvested 7704 acres of vegetables (2739 of those acres were sweet corn, 919 pumpkins, 891 green peans, and 733 potatoes).

Why these stats?

Small farms tend to be more diverse.

Diversity leads to resilience.

Resilience leads to long-term stability.

Sources

  • https://www2.census.gov/library/publications/decennial/1900/bulletins/agriculture/160-agriculture-ia.pdf
  • https://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/AgCensus/2017/Full_Report/Volume_1,_Chapter_1_State_Level/Iowa/