Census of Agriculture Results Announced
USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has announced the results of the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Among key findings were that both farm numbers and land in farms have continued to decline since the last Census in 2012. At the same time, there continue to be more of the largest and smallest operations and fewer middle-sized farms. The 273,000 smallest (1 to 9 acres) farms make up 0.1% of all farmland while the 85,127 largest (2,000 or more acres) farms make up 58% of farmland. In addition, the average age of farmers and ranchers continues to rise. Average farm income is $43,053, but a total of just 43.6% of farms had positive net cash farm income in 2017. Other interesting statistics are that a total of 133,176 farms and ranches use renewable energy producing systems, and that in 2017, a total of 130,056 farms sold directly to consumers, with sales of $2.8 billion.