Thursday, February 5, 2009

USDA Releases Census of Agriculture

This is a bit wonkish but as the CoA only comes out every five years it is a big deal in Ag Econ.
First up, from Reuters:

U.S. farm growth fueled by small operations -USDA

There are nearly 76,000 more U.S. farms than a few years ago but new operations tend to be smaller, more diversified and have lower sales than the average farm, according to Agriculture Department data released on Wednesday.

A USDA census taken every five years found 4 percent more farms in 2007 than in 2002. There were fewer middle-size farms and markedly more farms that were small or very large.

"I don't think it's just a statistical anomaly that smaller farms have increased in number," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told USDA employees.

He said the increase was largely the result of efforts to encourage organic farming, boost land stewardship, improve productivity per acre and create opportunities in development of renewable energy.

"All of that suggests the chance for profitability," said Vilsack.

Overall, there were 2,204,792 farms in the United States, a net increase of 75,810 farms since the 2002 census.

The number of smaller farms with sales of less than $2,500, rose by 73,769 to 900,327 while large farms with sales of $100,000 or higher increased by 45,771 to 357,159 from 2002 to 2007....MORE

Here is the 2007 Census of Agriculture homepage:

Getting Started

If you are not familiar with the Census of Agriculture, learn how the Census was conducted, view the survey forms, and find additional information.

Getting Started

2007 Census Results

Full 2007 Census Report
This is the single source for all 2007 Census data. Browse and download PDF files of the 2007 Census reports at no cost, query our on-line database, or purchase hard copies of Census reports.

Full Census Report

Online Highlights
See overviews of U.S., State, and County data. Compare data with pre-defined profiles and with interactive maps. See summary totals for key Census subject areas.

Online Overview