2012 CENSUS OF AGRICULTURE HIGHLIGHTS

February 20, 2014

Released at 12 p.m. on February 20, 2014

A farm is “any place from which $1,000 of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the Census year.”

In 2012, the United States had 2.1 million farms – down 4.3 percent from the last agricultural Census in 2007. This continues a long-term trend of fewer farms.

Between 2007 and 2012, the amount of land in farms in the United States declined from 922 million acres to 915 million acres. This decline of less than one percent was the third smallest decline between Censuses since 1950.

In 2012, the average farm size was 434 acres. This was a 3.8 percent increase over 2007, when the average farm was 418 acres.

Among 2.1 million principal farm operators in 2012:

- 92% non-Hispanic white, 8% minority

- 86% men, 14% women

- 78% in current operation 10 years or more, 22% in operation less than 10 years

- 75% had 2012 agricultural sales of less than $50,000, 25% had sales of $50,000 or more

- 48% called farming their primary occupation, 52% had a different primary occupation

- 6% under 35 years old, 61% 35 to 54 years, and 33% 65 and older

This highlights some Preliminary Report results. The full report, to be released in May 2014, will provide comprehensive data at national, state, and county levels on many additional aspects of American agriculture.

Source: USDA NASS, 2012 Census of Agriculture, Preliminary Report

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