At first glance, it might seem like this is the simply a story of big, corporate farms. And in many ways it is — the big farms have only gotten bigger over the years. As of 2011 — as is true with much of the country's wealth — the vast majority of America's farm land was controlled by a small number of farms. The top 10 percent of farms in terms of size account for more than 70 percent of cropland in the United States; the top 2.2 percent alone takes up more than a third.
But there is something a bit more nuanced going on than the rise of big farms. While big farms are indeed gobbling up more and more land, small family farms aren't exactly disappearing — most farms are, after all, still relatively small.
What's actually happening is that while a number of farms continue to grow on one end of the spectrum, the rest are shrinking on the other, leaving fewer and fewer mid-sized farms. The USDA noted exactly that last year: the country is seeing "growing numbers of very small and very large farms and declining numbers of mid-sized farms."