2012 Ag Census Reveals Conservation Trends

Cindy ZimmermanAudio, Conservation, renewable energ, USDA

2012-censusThe 2012 Census of Agriculture released today by the USDA reveals there are now 3.28 million farmers operating 2.1 million farms on 914.5 million acres of farmland across the United States. Those numbers are all lower than 2007 when the census reported 3.18 million farmers, 2.2 million farms and 922 million acres.

Highlights of the new census include
– 474,028 farms on over 173.1 million acres used conservation tillage or no-till practices.
– Farms with Internet access rose from 56.5 percent in 2007 to 69.6 percent in 2012.
– 57,299 farms produced on-farm renewable energy, more than double the 23,451 in 2007.

Among the conservation practices noted in the census, tiling was used on 48.6 million acres and nearly 218,000 farms; drainage ditches on 42.2 million acres and 216,000 farms; cover crops on 10.3 million acres and 133,000 farms; and conservation easement on 13.2 million acres and more than 76,000 farms.

The report also shows 2012 saw record high sales and production expenses for agricultural operations. U.S. producers sold $394.6 billion worth of agricultural products, but it cost them $328.9 billion to produce these products.

The top 5 states for agricultural sales were California ($42.6 billion); Iowa ($30.8 billion); Texas ($25.4 billion); Nebraska ($23.1 billion); and Minnesota ($21.3 billion).

Listen to a recording of the webcast release of the census data here: [wpaudio url=”http://zimmcomm.biz/usda/2012-census.mp3″ text=”USDA Releases 2012 Census Data”]