Detailed data from the 2012 Census of Agriculture are now available. The survey results provide very detailed information about agriculture at the county, state and national levels. The data provides ag retailers, crop consultants and farm managers a look at their customer base at a local to national scale. Some key statistics include:
- There were 2.1 million farms in the U.S. in 2012 covering 914.5 million acres. (A farm is any operation that sells or could have sold $1,000 worth of farm products.)
- Seventy-five percent of the farms have gross revenue of $50,000 or less.
- Nearly 900,000 farms had sales of less than $5,000 and average incomes of $1,500.
- Four percent of farms had sales of $1 million or more and they accounted for 66 percent of total market value. (Keep in mind crop prices were record high in 2012.)
- Thirty-nine percent of cropland was rented in 2012.
- The average age of farmers is 58.3 – up from 57.1 in 2007.
- Thirty percent of farm operators are women.
- More than 20 percent of farmers have operated their farms for less than 10 years.
- California is the top sales state followed by Iowa, Texas, Nebraska and Minnesota.
- Nearly 70 percent of farms have internet access – but 10 percent of those still use dial-up.
The Census of Agriculture data can be found at the nass.usda.gov website.