Washington state is losing farms at an alarming rate

Despite financial ups and downs, demand for U.S. farmland remains robust. Analysts at Farmers National Company report that values are holding steady in most regions.

Troy Swee of Farmers National notes that despite some downturns in the farm sector, they continue to receive inquiries from farmers seeking expansion.

While lower-quality farms are experiencing reductions, Swee anticipates land values to remain stable in the first half of the year. However, in Washington state, the situation contrasts starkly as the state loses hundreds of farms annually, a challenge state lawmakers assert is detrimental to family businesses.

“So, what we see is smaller farmers going out of business, the remaining farmers getting larger and, you know, 98.5 percent of farms, whether they’re corporations or not, are still owned by families. It’s still very much a family business. It isn’t like we’ve got large corporations. They’re in a squeeze, and I don’t know as I’ve ever seen the planet aligned so completely as they are right now to make it difficult to make money in agriculture.”

In Washington state, the number of farms has fallen by 14 a week during the last five years.