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The “Great Farm Census” Is Out!!

We continue to see less production from small family farms and ranches, according to the latest Agriculture Census from the USDA.

The agency has conducted this nationwide farm and ranch survey, roughly every 5 years since 1982.  This is the 29th release of the census since it started way back in the mid-1800’s.

Naturally, there are FAR fewer people living in rural areas now, and much of agribusiness is done by owners of huge agriculture operations.

That remains the case.

The USDA farm census found just 105,453 farms produced 75 percent of all sales in 2017, down from 119,908 in 2012.

The amount of farm and ranch land owned and managed by what we would traditionally consider “mom and pop” operations makes up just 0.1 percent of all agribusiness.

U.S. farmers and ranchers are also getting older.  The survey shows the average age of all producers is 57.5, up 1.2 years from 2012.

Some other interesting info;

Ninety-six percent of farms and ranches are family owned.

Farms with Internet access rose from 69.6 percent in 2012 to 75.4 percent in 2017.

A total of 133,176 farms and ranches use renewable energy producing systems, more than double the 57,299 in 2012.

Here’s a cool video I found of huge farming equipment at work;


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