The United States Department of Agriculture released its preliminary “2012 Census of Agriculture” results showing an increase in the value of agricultural products sold in the U.S. totaling $394.6 billion in 2012, up 33 percent compared to $97.4 billion in 2007.  

 

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The number of farms and land in farms continues to decline and the age of farmers continues to increase.  Results from the census include:

  • Crop sales of $212.4 billion in 2012 exceeded livestock sales of $182.2 billion.  This occurred for only the second time in census history.  The previous being 1974. 
  • Between 2007 and 2012, per farm average value of sales increased from $134,807 to $187,093. 
  • The average age of a principal farm operator was 58.3 years, up 1.2 years since 2007.  This is a continuing 30-year trend.
  • There were more minority-operated farms in 2012 than in 2007.
  • Between 2007 and 2012, the amount of land in farms in the U.S. continued a slow downward trend declining from 922 million acres to 915 million acres.  This is the third smallest decline between censuses since 1950. 

The “Census of Agriculture” has been conducted since 1840. 

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