Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ag News

Austin and Maise Tubbs, Malad, Idaho--Putnam photo

2007 Ag Census is Out

Boise-- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released the results of the 2007 Census of Agriculture

“The true value of the Census of Agriculture is in the information it provides,” said Bill Meyer, director of the NASS Idaho Field Office. “The Census charts trends in agriculture over time and provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive data for every county in the nation.”

The Census, which is conducted every five years, provides facts and figures on virtually every aspect of U.S. agriculture, including number and types of farm operations, the economic aspects of farm production and the demographics of U.S. farm operators. The following is a small example of the types of information available:

• The average age of American agricultural producers in 2007 was 57.1 years old. In Idaho: 56.5 years.

• 13.9 percent of the principal operators in the US were women in 2007, an increase of 2.7 percentage points from 2002; In Idaho, 12.4 percent were women, up 1.1 percentage points from 2002.

• In Idaho there are 223 Native American farmers and ranchers.

• 86.5 percent of the America’s agricultural operations are still run by single individuals or families. 59.8 percent of operations had less than $10,000 in sales of agricultural products in 2007. In Idaho, 84.1 percent of the ag operations are operated by individuals or families. 60.1 percent of Idaho operations had less than $10,000 in sales of agricultural products.

• In Idaho, there were 2,867,218 acres of irrigated cropland harvested out of a total of 4,225,786 acres of cropland harvested. This is up 1.3 percent from 2002.

For farmers and ranchers, the data can be a valuable tool to help them make critical decisions about the future of their operations. In addition, the information is used by all those who serve farmers and rural communities, including government agencies, community planners, agribusinesses, lenders, trade associations and many others.

“The information provided from the Census is really the voice of our nation’s farmers and ranchers,” said Meyer. “They took the time to tell us about what’s happening in agriculture on a local and national level. That voice will be heard by policymakers and other agricultural stakeholders now and in the years ahead.”

Census results are available online and in various publications to be issued by NASS. For more information, visit http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/

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