On Friday, May 2, the United States Department of Agriculture released its final report on the 2012 Census of Agriculture.
Several trends were revealed nationwide which put a new spin on the preliminary report released in February:
- As mentioned in the preliminary report, sales of agricultural products in 2012 reached a record high of $394.6 billion. At the same time, however, production expenses also set a new record—$328.9 billion.
- Although average sales per farm were $187,093, three quarters of all farms in America sold less than $50,000 worth of agricultural products. Of the total sales in 2012, 66% came from farms selling over $1 million in products, 4% of the total number of farms.
- Crop sales values exceeded livestock sales values for the second time in census history, but the largest category of operations in America was beef cattle, with 29% of all farms and ranches specializing in this area.
- The average American farmer is now 58.3 years old. On the other hand, the number of young start-up farmers increased from 36,396 in 2007 to 40,499 in 2012, an increase of 11.3%.
Also of interest nationwide:
- 87% of all American farms are operated by families or individuals.
- For the first time ever, corn and soybeans dominated over half of the acres harvested in the United States.
- Direct-marketing sales exceeded $1.3 billion in 2012, a 8.1% increase compared to 2007.
- Organic sales reached $3.12 billion in 2012, compared to $1.7 billion in 2007.
The top five ag products in Kansas in 2012, ranked by value, were:
- Cattle and calves (55.0% of total sales).
- Grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas (35.2%).
- Hogs and pigs (3.8%).
- Milk from cows (2.6%).
- Other crops and hay (1.9%).
The ten leading counties in farm-related income were:
The next USDA census will be in 2017.
2012 Census Publications
If you need more information from the 2012 census, start here and find links to a wide range of national, state, and county data.
To help you decipher the ag product terminology in the lists above.