The 2017 Census of Agriculture is more than 800 pages of data timestamping the industry’s size, economics, and important geographical trends.
You can click here to view the entire report (released today), and here are some key takeaways our editors found for ag retailers:
1. Total number of farms continues to decline (and we’re on track to be less than 2 million farms by the next census), but your largest customers are a growing segment as the number of farms 2,000 acres or greater has never been higher.
2. Input expenses vary by category from 2012 to 2017 (showing here the top expense category for each.)
3. The total acres applied with crop protection products was up in all tracked categories.
4. For the first time, the Ag Census asked about cover crop seed purchases, and from the 2017 numbers 115,954 farms purchased cover crop seed for a total of $257 million. Acres planted in cover crops increased from 10.28 million acres in 2012 to 15.39 million acres in 2017 (these numbers exclude CRP.)
5. The use of drainage has increased. In 2012, it was reported almost 48.6 million acres were drained by tile; and in 2017, that number has increased to 55.6 million acres. Approximately 230 more farms had some acres drained by tile in 2017 than five years previously.
6. Proportion of farms with irrigation ticked slightly upward from 14.0% in 2012 to 14.4% in 2017.
Want to learn more about the data and trends from the 2017 Census of Agriculture? Visit AgWeb.com/AgCensus2017