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ProAg Friday Fun Ag Fact: 2012 Agriculture Census Preliminary Results


The preliminary results of the USDA 2012 Census of Agriculture were recently released. Some of the key findings include an increase in the value of agricultural products sold in the United States.  These values totaled $394.6 billion in 2012, up 33% ($97.4 billion) from the 2007 Census. The total number of farms and the total amount of land in these farms were down slightly. And another key finding is that agriculture is becoming more diverse.  To see a full PDF of USDA’s presentation containing all of the preliminary findings, just click here.

Here are some other notable statistics from the 2012 Census of Agriculture:

  1. In 2012, crop sales of $212.4 billion exceeded livestock sales of $182.2 billion. This is only the second time in Census history that this has occurred.  The other time was in the 1974 Census.
  2. The per farm average value of sales increased from $137,807 (2007) to $187,093 (2012), which continues a steady 30-year upward trend. The increase was the largest rise in Census history. 
  3. The 2012 Census showed principal farm operators are becoming older. In 2012, the average age of a principal farm operator was 58.3 years, up 1.2 years from 2007.
  4. The US had 2.1 million farms, down 4.3% from the 2007 Census. In terms of farm size by acres, the smallest and largest-size farms held relatively steady, while a continued downward trend in mid-sized farms was noted.
  5. The amount of land in farms in the United States continued a slow (less than 1%) downward trend since the 2007 Census declining from 922 million acres to 915 million acres. This is the third smallest decline between censuses since 1950.

And for those of you that have come to enjoy our Friday Fun Ag Facts in infographic form, here is “US Agriculture At A Glance” from USDA Dept. of Ag & NASS.

ProAg's Friday Fun Ag Fact: USDA 2012 Preliminary Results Infographic 

Source: USDA Ag Census

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