Census: Increase in Kansas farms first since WWII

HUTCHINSON, Kan. | A five-year agriculture census finds that the number of Kansas farms rose for the first time since World War II.

The 2007 Department of Agriculture census released Wednesday says Kansas is seeing more small farms and a growth of its biggest operations, but fewer middle-sized farms. Donn Teske of the Kansas Farmers Union says the drop in the number of mid-sized farms follows a recent trend.

The census, required by law, tallies all aspects of farming, including the number, size and value of farms, as well as the age and gender of operators and the kinds of livestock and crops raised.

Since the 2002 agriculture census, Kansas has 65,531 farms, up 1,117 farms, or about 1.7 percent. Nationally, farm numbers are up 4 percent.