Updated information about America’s farmers and ranchers was released Thursday, after being delayed in February.
The results of the 2017 Census of Agriculture includes 6.4 million new points of information, updating farm data from the last census in 2012. More recent and accurate data will help the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agriculture agencies with decision making, as well as provide more accurate data for USDA reports.
“The Census shows new data that can be compared to previous censuses for insights into agricultural trends and changes down to the county level,” said USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service administrator Hubert Hamer. “While the current picture shows a consistent trend in the structure of U.S. agriculture, there are some ups and downs since the last Census as well as first-time data on topics such as military status and on-farm decision making. To make it easier to delve into the data, we are pleased to make the results available in many online formats including a new data query interface, as well as traditional data tables.”
Insights from the report include that the total number of farms and ranches in the U.S. is down 3.2 percent from 2012, while the average size of farms is up. Farms with internet access rose to over 75 percent in 2017, and one in four producers is a beginning farmer with 10 or fewer years of experience and an average age of 46.3 years. Farms with new or beginning producers making decisions tend to be smaller than average in both acres and value of production.
Results are available in many online formats including video presentations, a new data query interface, maps and traditional data tables. To address questions about the 2017 Census of Agriculture data, NASS will host a live Twitter chat (@usda_nass) at noon Friday, April 12. Information is available at www.nass.usda.gov/AgCensus.