How Much Land Do You Need For A Farm? (Acres & Cost) (2023)

If you are interested in starting your farm, you should begin by asking how much land do you need for a farm to understand how to get started.

Owning a farm seems scary and intimidating at first, but is ultimately a very rewarding experience; the initial cost and investment can be lessened with different financial avenues. Building a farm yourself may prove to be more frugal, and for some, easier to manage.

To start a farm you need land and the minimum amount required is 5 acres without including the house site to run a self-sufficient farm to grow crops for profit and be classified as farmland in most states in the United States. You must also generate $1,000 per year from your crops to be a farm.

The first step in determining how much land you need for a farm is to decide what animals and/or produce you want to raise/grow on your farm. You also have to think practically: are you the only one that’s going to be working on your farm? Do you have a partner going in on this venture with you? Are you planning to hire down the road? These factors will determine whether or not you’re looking to purchase ten acres of land or one hundred.

We consult already existing farms for a sense of their cost based on size and location; there are also real estate agents that can guide you for the best type of land for farming. Above all, you need to determine ahead of time how much land you are looking to purchase to suit your needs.

How Much Land Do You Need For A Farm?

The exact amount of land you need depends on your type of farm. Some examples include chickens, cows, pigs, or produce. Naturally, a cattle farm will require a lot more land than that of a chicken farm, but that also is dependent on how many animals/how much produce you can handle.

The rule of thumb for cattle is one cow per two acres, while chickens are seventy-eighty chickens per acre, and pigs are about ten per acre. For produce, a small orchard requires a minimum of five acres, while the sky is the limit with a vegetable farm.

The answer to how much land you need for a farm is all dependent on what you are planning to raise and/or grow. We recommend aiming for at least 5 acres of land to build a self-sufficient farm.

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For a mixed farm meant for the self-sufficiency of a family, ten acres is enough to provide for the family as well as provide a profit; five acres is still plenty for a family to practice self-sufficiency.


Some families build their homesteads on one acre of land, although these plans exclude owning cattle. A popular alternative is dairy goats; the milk produced by goats is unique but still a healthy drink, and the goats themselves make great pets.

Buying an existing farm can be difficult if you haven’t managed a farm before as getting into the routine may take some time.

You may also find you need more help, which doesn’t come easily or quickly, so you could be really working overtime for a while before having relief. Don’t forget: owning a farm is a 24/7 gig, there are no weekends or holidays, and farm work doesn’t take a sick day.

That’s why it’s recommended that you build your own farm to fit your lifestyle. Start small, usually with produce since it requires the least amount of attention, and begin to add larger items or more fruits/vegetables.

You’ll want to use at least one year to focus on growing various fruits and vegetables if you haven’t had much experience growing on a larger scale, such as with your mini-farm.

It’s important to slowly master tasks over time rather than to be thrown into everything at once, that way you can really give yourself a chance at succeeding. Even if you plan on having a larger farm, say, twenty acres or so, it’s still important to start slowly.

How Much Does A Farm Cost?

That greatly depends on the size and location of the farm. The average cost of an existing ranch or farm ranging from 50 to 100 acres in Upstate, NY is $693,175.00. You can compare this to the cost of just 100 acres of land without any farming equipment or buildings included is closer to $319,000.00.

On the west side, a California farm of the same caliber averages $954,000.00, and that’s often without the farm equipment included.

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What Can You Do With One Acre Of Land?


Forget about owning a cow on one acre of land; that’s just not fair to a cow. Try a couple of pigs in a pen instead; piglets will be full-grown after six to eight months.

They are a lot of work, require specific housing (to keep them contained), and sometimes eat more than they are worth. The wise direction would be to allow your pigs to free-range as much as possible and recycle all your table scraps for them.

Raising pigs for profit is not profitable on a small scale; you would be raising them to provide for your own needs.

The amount of food they consume is more than the cost of selling a pig wholesale, not to mention the hard work involved in tending to pigs.

Dairy Goats

Dairy goats are a great alternative to owning a cow; not only do you gain the benefit of the milk, but you’re dealing with a much smaller animal.

If you decide to choose the Nigerian Dwarf Goats, you’ve chosen not only one of the cutest goats but also one of the easiest to maintain and they produce the highest butterfat among goat breeds.

You can accommodate six to ten goats on an acre of land, depending on the amount of space that is available for food for the goats. If you choose the Nigerian Dwarf Goats, you can have closer to twelve or fifteen, since they are so much smaller.

No matter which route you go, be sure that your goats are getting the varied diet they require, and not just eating the weeds and


Chickens are the ideal farm animal as they are easy to tend to, they provide eggs regularly, and meat at one point. There is nothing quite like farm fresh eggs!

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Their poop also makes excellent fertilizer; some people will rotate their chickens’ pens in order to spread the love of the chicken poop. This method also allows for the chickens to eat a variety of foods and to have a constant supply of fresh greens with every new location.

Consider your chickens as a free weeding service too; you can create a movable cage or bird track so that the chickens have access to the outskirts of your garden, or perhaps have access to your house sides, where weeds often hide.

Chickens will eat away dandelions and pricker plants, all sorts of different weeds that plug up your garden and yard.


There is no minimum on growing fruits or vegetables; if you’re looking to grow a producing orchard, you need about five acres. Otherwise, any amount of land will do to start growing vegetables.

Most farmers don’t just grow for their family’s needs, but also to feed the rest of the farm, such as chickens and pigs.


Beekeeping has become a popular hobby among folks these days, especially with the fear of losing our little flying pollinators. Beekeeping enthusiasts are often excited to share their first jar of honey, which often took them two years to get.

Not many people realize that it takes a while for a bee colony to become established; they need to be able to regularly produce more than enough food for themselves to survive the winter, and then you can take the surplus.

It takes longers to reach that period than some people realize, and you would also benefit from having more than one hive at a time.


A unique farming method is building a mini-fishery in a small barn or large shed. There are plenty of simple tank systems you can set up in order to have room to house multiple cycles of fish going a the same time.

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Rainbow trout is a popular northern fish due to its need for cold winters, which it will certainly get in some of the more northern states.

Another benefit to having fish is the wastewater; it’s the perfect fertilizer for your gardens, no matter what you are growing. You can even use the dirty fish water from your fishtanks at home!

Next time you go to clean your fish tank, dump the dirty water into some of your indoor plants if you have them. You can always dump it out in the garden but either way, don’t let it go to waste by dumping it down the drain!

Maple trees

Maple trees are a fun way to start the fall season; learning to clean and prepare maple syrup is an art in itself. Maple tapping is easy, and a great way for extra income if you have enough trees.

You really have to have a growing field of at least ten adult maple trees in order to reap the benefits of this sweet tree, and that’s just to fill one bottle!


The easiest of all farming hobbies can start right in your own kitchen with a herb garden. You can literally grow herbs from your window sill, although you would do well to have actual plants out in your garden.

There is just something about the fresh air and direct sunlight that really adds to the flavor. The maintenance is also much easier when compared to animals.


Microgreens are becoming a popular hobby. Enthusiasts are growing broccoli and alfalfa sprouts galore in order to reap the benefits these tiny nutrient factories pack.

Add a variety of shoots and microgreens to your salads, soups, and sandwiches, keeping them raw to gain the most out of the microgreens.

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Another bird of choice is the turkey because they don’t need incredibly large living space. However, they will take up a chunk of land to graze on.

A turkey isn’t for everybody, but some people actually enjoy them as pets due to their intelligence and friendly nature. You can keep this bird around for one year or a few years, it’s all up to you.


How much does 1 acre cost in Texas? ›

Farm real estate average value: $2,650/acre, an 11.3% increase from 2021. Cropland average value: $2,420/acre.

How much does it cost to start up a farm? ›

To start a small farm, the cost ranges from $600 to $10,000. Outlook, location, type of equipment, size of farm, type of labor required, invested time, farm products, and if you already own a property, or you are borrowing from relatives, or would rent, greatly determines the cost of starting a farm.

How much land do you need to farm for a living? ›

With livestock, you'll likely need at least 30 acres.

Thus, if you are going to have cattle, sheep, or goats, you are going to need at least 30 acres for pasture, feed crops, and your veggie crops. 50 acres is probably more realistic though.

Is 1 acre enough for a farm? ›

You don't need a lot of acreage to have a self-sufficient homestead. Even on a 1-acre farm, you can milk a family cow, raise livestock and reap garden harvests — all while improving your land's soil fertility with manure and proper grazing management.

Where is an acre of land cheapest? ›

Arkansas is home to some of the lowest-priced lands in the country, with an average price of just $1,071 per acre. This is significantly cheaper than the national average of $7,000 per acre. The cheapest land tends to be located in rural areas and on the outskirts of small towns and cities.

How many acres can you own in Texas? ›

A residence homestead can include up to 20 acres, if the land is owned by the homeowner and used for a purpose related to the residential use of the homestead. What residence homestead exemptions are available? There are several types of exemptions you may receive.

Where is the cheapest place to start a farm? ›

Montana, Oklahoma, and Wyoming offer the most affordable Farmland , but Bill Gates prefers his tracts out in Iowa and California.

Do farm owners make money? ›

In 2021, the median income from farming was $185,593 for households operating commercial farms, and their median total household income was $261,992.

Can a 5 acre farm be profitable? ›

Even though 5 acres doesn't sound like a lot of land, there's plenty of space to create a successful farm. There are many ways to maximize the profits and make a living off farming 5 acres of land. The key is to find the right plot of land, plan carefully, and put in hard work.

What type of farming makes the most money? ›

Most Profitable Agricultural Business Ideas in 2021
  • Vertical Farming. Market value: $3.9 billion. ...
  • Precision Farming. Market value: $7 billion. ...
  • Apiculture. Market value: $8.3 billion. ...
  • Microgreens. Market value: $10.9 billion. ...
  • Vegan Food. Market value: $14.4 billion.
Mar 30, 2021

How many acres does a cow need? ›

Cows require a considerable amount of space when compared to other livestock. “You want at least an acre per cow,” Robbins said. “If they're going to have a baby, you want two acres for a cow-calf pair. That's the minimum amount of land.”

How many houses fit on an acre? ›

How Many Houses Can Fit on an Acre? The median lot size for new single-family homes is 0.19 acres or 8,276 square feet. That means around five average-sized home lots can fit on one acre.

How much food can grow on 1 acre? ›

Rocky and dry soil would produce less than fertile and moist soil. As examples of potential production capability one acre of land can produce as much as 42,000 pounds of strawberries, 25,400 pounds of potatoes, or 11,000 pounds of iceberg lettuce.

How big is an average farm in acres? ›

In 2021, 30.1 percent of all farmland was operated by farms with less than $100,000 in sales, while 40.9 percent of all farmland was operated by farms with sales of $500,000 or more. The average farm size for 2021 is 445 acres, up from 444 acres the previous year.

How do I claim abandoned land? ›

When someone wants to claim ownership of land that's not theirs, it is called Adverse Possession. To claim Adverse Possession you would need to make an application to the Land Registry. The Land Registry have a strict set of criteria you must meet before you can claim land you do not own.

How many acres is a football field? ›

The dimension of the entire surface of the football field is 57,600 square feet, or the equivalent of 1.32 acres.

What is the cheapest state to own land? ›

So for both 1 acre and 5 acre plots, our cheapest states to buy land are New Mexico, Arizona, Mississippi, closed followed by Florida, Texas, Colorado, and Oregon. Some great news for you here is that at Compass Land USA, we do a lot of work in Colorado, Arizona, and Florida.

How many acres is tax exempt in Texas? ›

Ag exemption requirements vary by county, but generally you need at least 10 acres of qualified agricultural land to be eligible. Check with your county to verify.

At what age do you stop paying property taxes in Texas? ›

For many senior homeowners, rising property taxes can be a threat to their financial stability, even though their mortgages may be paid off. The Texas Tax Code, Section 33.06, allows taxpayers 65 years of age or older to defer their property taxes until their estates are settled after death.

Can you shoot deer on your own property in Texas? ›

You can hunt on the private land that you own or get permission from the landowner to hunt as a guest or pay the landowner to hunt on that land. Many hunters find leases and book hunts a year or more in advance. Landowners can grant or deny permission to hunt on their land.

Will the government pay you not to farm? ›

This year, California farmers have been given a financial incentive to not plant crops. Much of the state is already experiencing extreme drought conditions. As part of a $2.9-billion plan to try to keep water flowing in California rivers, the state will pay farms to keep thousands of acres vacant this growing season.

What is the easiest farm animal to raise? ›

Poultry, without a doubt, are the easiest animals to raise on the homestead. Starting with this small livestock will give you the confidence to explore other livestock options. Chickens are the quintessential livestock for every farm and homestead.

What is easiest farming to make money? ›

Livestock is probably the most common way farmers make money from their land. And while animals have a few more expenses and a higher overhead, they usually bring in top dollar in terms of net income. Here are just some of the ways you can make money with livestock.

What is the best state to own a farm? ›

Top 10 Best States to Start a Farm in 2022
  1. Montana. Montana has won first place as the best state to start a farm in a recent survey conducted by Lawnstarter. ...
  2. Kansas. ...
  3. North Dakota. ...
  4. Texas. ...
  5. Oklahoma. ...
  6. Iowa. ...
  7. Wyoming. ...
  8. Colorado.
Apr 27, 2022

Is a hobby farm tax deductible? ›

Tax Benefits of Turning Your Hobby Into a Business

You can deduct your farm-related expenses, even if they go above your farm income. So if your farm operates at a loss, that loss can be used to offset your tax burden on your overall income.

What is the easiest farm to start? ›

What is the easiest farm to start?
  • Tree Nursery. A tree nursery can be a great investment when done right. ...
  • Fish Farming. ...
  • Dual Crop Farming. ...
  • Dairy Farming. ...
  • Herb Gardening. ...
  • Bee Farming. ...
  • Aquaponics. ...
  • Microgreens Farming.

How do farmers pay themselves? ›

The most common way is through a W-2 wages or family draw. Less common is through commodity wages or investing in their retirement through available plans.

Can farm land make you rich? ›

Farmland offers both short-term and long-term opportunities for creating wealth. The land parcel itself is a hard asset typically maintains its value in your investment portfolio. Its low-risk nature can help diversity your holdings and balance out some of your riskier stock market investments.

What state do farmers make the most money? ›

Pennsylvania is the best state, and Mahwah is the city with the highest pay for farmers.
1. Pennsylvania.
Total Farmer Jobs:2
Average Annual Salary:$39,170
Lowest 10 Percent Earn:$19,000
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$79,000
1 more row
Apr 6, 2021

How much I can earn in a 10 acre farm? ›

Farmers are easily earning 8-10 lakhs per acre in a year. So if you don't have huge amount of land, you can still earn in lakhs.

Is 5 acres enough for cows? ›

How many cows can graze on 5 acres? You should be able to graze from 2 to 4 cows on average pasture per every 5 acres. However, this number may rise to 20 assuming excellent pasture conditions and applied irrigation.

Why are farmers so wealthy? ›

Farm Household Wealth and Income

Farm operator households have more wealth than the average U.S. household because significant capital assets, like farmland and equipment, are generally necessary to operate a successful farm business. In 2021, the average U.S. farm household had $2,100,879 in wealth.

What is the cheapest way to feed cattle? ›

Corn residue is one of the lowest cost forages on a cost per pound of energy. That's why mixing a high energy and protein feed like distillers' grains with a low quality forage like corn stalks is so cost effective. Distillers' is often a low-cost source of both energy and protein.

What cow is best for meat? ›

Black Angus, Red Angus, and Herefords are the Fords, Chevys, and Dodges of the beef cattle world and are the most common and popular.

Is cattle farming profitable? ›

Beef cattle are generally the most profitable and easiest livestock to raise for profit. Beef cattle simply require good pasture, supplemental hay during the winter, fresh water, vaccinations and plenty of room to roam. You can buy calves from dairy farms inexpensively to start raising beef cattle.

What does an acre look like visually? ›

If you can picture a football field, that's pretty close to an acre in size. Officially, it is 43,560 square feet, and a football field is 48,000 square feet.

What can I do with 1 acre of land? ›

You can build multiple structures like barns, sheds, garages, and more on a single acre of land and still have plenty of space left over. A single acre of land with a beautiful new construction home in the center would give you and your family all the room you need for a pool and other types of outdoor recreation.

What is a good lot size for a home? ›

“Typically, custom homeowners are looking for at least one-half acre or larger for their lot. The trend among custom home buyers is for larger (greater than one acre) lots.

What is the most profitable thing to grow per acre? ›

World's 5 Most Profitable Crops That You Can Grow in 1 Acre Land for A Huge Profit
  • Saffron. Saffron is the most expensive crop in the world. ...
  • Mushrooms. Easy to grow, this cash crop is probably the first one to pop- up in your mind when you think of small-scale farm ideas. ...
  • Microgreens. ...
  • Lavender. ...
  • Goji Berries.
Nov 8, 2022

How much land do you need to be self-sufficient? ›

Research in the 1970s by John Jeavons and the Ecology Action Organisation found that 4000 square feet (about 370 square metres) of growing space was enough land to sustain one person on a vegetarian diet for a year, with about another 4000 square feet (370 square metres) for access paths and storage – so that's a plot ...

What vegetable yields the most per acre? ›

You don't need a big garden to produce a large harvest. Growing high-yield vegetables is an easy way to maximize your growing space.
6 High-yield vegetables:
  • Pole Beans. ...
  • Peas. ...
  • Zucchini. ...
  • Salad Greens. ...
  • Tomatoes. ...
  • Cucumbers.

What is considered a small farm? ›

USDA defines a small farm as an operation with gross cash farm income under $250,000. Within that group are commercial and noncommercial farms.

What are small farms called? ›

Farms with smaller incomes that sell agricultural products are considered residence farms or intermediate farms. Commercial farms are also owned by a corporation instead of a family or cooperative.

Is it expensive to buy land in Texas? ›

How Much an Acre of Land Costs in Texas. An acre of rural land cost around $3,954 in 2021. But not all land is rural. If you want to buy developed residential land, you're looking at a median price of $110,000 per acre.

How much should you spend per acre? ›

Price of land per acre
StateListingsPer acre
47 more rows

How big is an acre in Texas? ›

An acre of land is 43,560 square feet.

How much is a acre? ›

An acre is used to describe an area of land that is the equivalent of about 43,560 square feet of land.

Is owning land a tax write off? ›

Expenses from land are itemized and go on Schedule E. These expenses can offset income on other investment properties. While a land investment is not directly tax deductible, expenses incurred from the investment are tax deductible.

Do you have to pay taxes on land you own in Texas? ›

Texas has no state property tax.

The state does not set tax rates, collect taxes or settle disputes between you and your local governments.

Which part of Texas has the cheapest land? ›

A recent report listed the "cheapest" places to buy land including both single-acre and five-acre plots.

What state has the cheapest farmland? ›

Oklahoma. Oklahoma currently sits at the lowest cost per acre among the best states for farmland in the U.S., so this is another state with farmland you can invest in at a low price point.

Why is farmland so expensive? ›

PEIKES: So why is farmland costing so much now? Economists say things like good crop prices, a global food shortage, inflation and record-high government payments, largely from the pandemic.

What is a perfect acre? ›

The Answer:

An acre can be of any shape-a rectangle, a triangle, a circle, or even a star-so long as its area is exactly 43,560 square feet. ADVERTISEMENT. The most standard shape for an acre is one furlong by one chain, or 660 feet by 66 feet.

How many football fields is a acres? ›

1 football field is roughly 1 acre. (The exact measurements of football fields vary.) 1 hectare = 2.47 acres. 2.47 football fields in 1 hectare.

What is the process of buying land in Texas? ›

7 Primary Steps to Buying Land
  1. Securing Financing.
  2. Finding right piece of land.
  3. The Offer and Contract.
  4. Land Inspection.
  5. Rural Surveys.
  6. Title.
  7. Closing.

Is a football field 5 acres? ›

If you calculate the entire area of a football field, including the end zones, it works out to 57,600 square feet (360 x 160). One acre equals 43,560 square feet, so a football field is about 1.32 acres in size.

How much does 1 acre look like? ›

If you can picture a football field, that's pretty close to an acre in size. Officially, it is 43,560 square feet, and a football field is 48,000 square feet. Our standard acre isn't the same worldwide. Irish and Scottish acres are bigger than those in the US.

How much can you fit on 1 acre? ›

You could build about 29 smaller-sized homes of approximately 1,500 square feet there if there's no space between them. Additionally, if the houses get larger, it drops to 21 medium-sized, 2,000 square foot homes or 14 large, 3,000 square foot homes.

How much does an acre of land cost in the US? ›

The state with the cheapest land in the U.S. is Wyoming, where one acre costs an average of $1,558. The state with the most expensive land in the U.S. is New Jersey, where one acre costs a whopping $196,410.
Average Cost Per Acre.
RankStateAvg. Cost Per Acre
46New Mexico$1,931
44 more rows
Aug 16, 2022


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