Ag Census Shows Large Drop in Number of Oklahoma FarmsThu, 20 Feb 2014 14:38:11 CST
Preliminary findings in the 2012 Census of Agriculture counted 2,109,363 farms in the United States, according to results issued today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
The number of reported U.S. farms decreased by 4 percent since the 2007 Census of Agriculture. In Oklahoma, the number of farms had a larger decline, by 7 percent, and was estimated at 80,245 farms.
"The Census of Agriculture is a complete count of the Nation's farms and ranches, and the people who operate them," said Wilbert Hundl, Jr., State Statistician for the NASS Oklahoma Field Office. "It provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every county in the Nation."
The 2012 Census reported several historic changes in value of sales for agriculture producers in the United States: In 2012, crop sales of $212.4 billion exceeded livestock sales of $182.2 billion. This occurred for only the second time in Census history; the other time was 1974. Between 2007 and 2012, per farm average value of sales increased from $137,807 to $187,093, continuing a steady 30-year upward trend. The increase of $52,285 was the largest rise in Census history.
"In addition to looking at all aspects of farming," said Hundl, "the Census of Agriculture provides the most comprehensive look at operator demographics - an area in which operators continue to become more diverse, both in Oklahoma and across the United States." The 2012 Census counted fewer female principal farm operators in Oklahoma compared to the 2007 Census; however, counts of American Indian, Asian and Black or African American farm operators continued to trend upward.
For more information about the Census, including access to the current 2012 Census of Agriculture preliminary report, additional materials and full final report when it is released in May, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.
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