Economic Tidbits

Less Farms, More Producers

Census figures from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) shows the number of farms in Nebraska was down in 2022 compared to 2017, but the number of producers was up. Data from the 2022 Census of Agriculture, released last week, showed 44,479 farms in Nebraska in 2022, down 4 percent from 2017. The drop follows a decline of 7 percent between 2012 and 2017. However, the data also indicated more people were engaged in production agriculture. Producers numbered 80,283, up 4 percent. The increase follows a 10 percent bump in producers between 2012 and 2017. 

These data nuggets are just a couple of the thousands compiled by the NASS from the 2022 Census. NASS conducts the Census of Agriculture every five years. Data on producer demographics, decision making, commodity statistics, internet access, and much more is available through the census. The information provides a unique picture of Nebraska farm and ranches and the people who operate them.

Census highlights are shown below. Additional data and information will be featured in Tidbits in the coming weeks. 

  • In Nebraska, 36,000 farms were organized for tax purposes as family or individual operations, while 4,700 were organized as corporations. 
  • Land in farms totaled 44.0 million acres, down 2 percent from 2017, accounting for 89.4 percent of Nebraska’s total land area.
  • The average farm size in 2022 was 989 acres, up 18 acres from 2017. 
  • The total value of agricultural products sold in Nebraska in 2022 was $29.4 billion, up 34 percent from 2017. Of the total, 52 percent originated from livestock and 48 percent from crops. In 2017, 58 percent of receipts originated from livestock and 42 percent from crops. 
  • Average net income in 2022 was $172,677 per farm, almost double the income in 2017.
  • The average age of producers was 56.9 years in 2022 compared to 56.4 years in 2017.
  • Young producers, those under 35 years, numbered 9,031 and accounted for 11 percent of all producers. This was down from 9,141 in 2017. 
  • Female producers, 26,364, equated to 33 percent of all producers and was up almost 7 percent. The number of male producers was down 3 percent. 

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