Skip to content

Fifteenth Census of the United States: 1930

Agriculture — Virginia

Number of Farms, Farm Acreage, and Values of Farm Land and Buildings, Farm Buildings, Farmers’ Dwellings and Farm Implements and Machinery by Minor Civil Divisions

Number of Farms, Farm Acreage and Specified Farm Values

Introduction—This bulletin, prepared under the supervision of William Lane Austin, chief statistician for agriculture, presents the number of farms, farm acreage, and specified farm values by minor civil divisions. It will be followed by bulletins in three series presenting county figures as follows:

First series, showing farm statistics for the following: Number of farms, farm acreage, specified farm values, selected classes of livestock, and field crops, and vegetables harvested for sale.

Second series, showing farm statistics for the following: Acreage and production of specified crops, number of fruit trees and vines with production, selected classes of livestock and livestock products, value of crops and livestock products, mortgage debt, taxes, cooperative marketing, expenditures, machinery, facilities, roads, percentage of tenancy, tenants related to landlord, and movement of farm population.

Third Series, showing farm statistics for the following: Number of farms, acreage, value of specified property, and products, size, tenure, etc., by type.

Minor Civil Divisions—In the State of Virginia the primary divisions of the counties are magisterial districts. The magisterial districts include the secondary divisions known as towns. The 24 independent cities in Virginia have a status similar to that of counties.

Census date.—The data contained in this bulletin relate to April 1, 1930, the date of the Fifteenth Census of the United States, and to the crop year, 1929.


Farm.—A “farm,” for census purposes, is all the land which is directly farmed by one person, either by his own labor alone or with the assistance of members of his household or hired employees. The land operated by a partnership is likewise considered a farm. A “farm” may consist of a single tract of land, or of a number of separate tracts, and these several tracts may be held under different tenures, as when one tract is owned by the farmer and another tract is rented by him. When a landowner has one or more tenants, renters, or managers, the land operated by each is considered a farm. Thus on a plantation the land operated by each cropper or tenant was reported as a separate farm, and the land operated by the owner or manager by means of wage hands likewise was reported as a separate farm.

The enumerators were instructed not to report as a farm any tract of land of less than 3 acres, unless its agricultural products in 1929 were valued at $250 or more.

Land in farms.—The acreage designated as “All land in farms” includes considerable areas of land not actually under cultivation and some not even used for pasture, since each farmer was asked to report as a unit all the land under his control, or rather all the land which he thought of as a part of his farm. Isolated tracts of timberland and other areas not connected with the farm were not included.

The following classes of farm land, based on the uses made of the land in 1929, are shown separately This classification of farm land was first presented in the reports of the census of 1925.

Crop land,—The total crop land consists of the three classes of land, as follows:

  1. Crop land harvested in 1929, comprising all land from which cultivated crops were harvested, all land which hay was cut (including hay cut within the limits of the farm), and all land in small fruits, orchards, vineyards, gardens, nurseries, and greenhouses. A given acreage was counted but once, even though two or more corps were harvested from it.
  2. Crop failure, comprising land from which no crop was harvested in 1929 because of crop failure or destruction from any cause, including drought, flood, insects, or disease.
  3. Idle or fallow land, comprising crop land which was lying idle or which was in cultivated summer fallow in 1929.

Pasture land.—The total pasture land consists of the three classes of land, as follows:

  1. Plowable pasture, comprising land used for pasture in 1929, which could have been plowed and used for crops without clearing, draining, or irrigating.
  2. Woodland pasture, comprising woodland used for pasture at any time during 1929. (Woodland pasture includes all farm wood lots or timber tracts, natural or planted, and cut over land with young growth; but excludes chaparral and woody shrubs.
  3. Other pasture, comprising all land used for pasture in 1929 which was not included under plowable pasture or woodland pasture.

Woodland not used for pasture.—Under this heading is reported all woodland included in the farm acreage but not pastured in 1929.

All other land in farms.—Under this heading are included all rough, swampy, or waste lands not in forest, pasture, or crops; and also the land occupied by buildings, barnyards, feed lots, roads, ditches, etc.

Farm values.—The farmer was asked to report first, the total value of his farm (land and buildings), including all the land which he operated, both and hired, whether operated for himself or for others. He was asked to give the value, that is, the amount for which the sell under normal conditions, not at forced sale. The tabulated results of this inquiry are shown as value of “Land and buildings” and represent the total value of farm real estate.

The farmer was also asked to report the value of all farm buildings on his farm and of his dwelling house alone. These values were necessarily estimated, and the figures obtained are probably somewhat less satisfactory than the figures for the total real estate value. The question calling for the value of the farmer’s dwelling house appeared on the census farm schedule for the first time in 1930.

The value of farm implements and machinery is the combined value of automobiles, trucks, tractors, tools; wagons, harnesses; dairy equipment, cotton gins, threshing machines, combines, apparatus for making cider, grape juice, and sirup, and for drying fruits; and all other farm machinery. The value of the commercial mills and factories located on the farm was not included.

[Note: The remaining pages of this bulletin are presented in image rather than text format, and begin with page 4 of the bulletin].
Page 4 Accomac to Bath Counties
Page 5 Bedford to Charlotte Counties
Page 6 Chesterfield to Floyd Counties
Page 7 Fluvanna to Henrico Counties
Page 8 Henry to Madison Counties
Page 9 Mathews to Orange Counties
Page 10 Page to Richmond Counties
Page 11 Roanoke to Surry Counties
Page 12 Sussex to York Counties and Independent Cities