Economic Tidbits

The Census Says…

The number of farms in Nebraska was 46,332 in 2017, down 7 percent from the number of farms reported in 2012. This factoid is just one of thousands compiled by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) from the 2017 Census of Agriculture. The NASS conducts the comprehensive survey of American agriculture every five years, with the most recent survey conducted in 2017. The first results of the 2017 survey were released last week. Data on demographic information of producers, decision making, commodity statistics, internet access, and much more is available through the USDA because of the census. The data and information provide a unique picture of U.S. and Nebraska farm and ranches and the people who operate them.

Additional factoids on Nebraska agriculture from the census:  

  • Land in farms was 45.0 million acres, down 1 percent from that reported in 2012. 
  • Land in farms accounted for 91.5 percent of the total land area in the state compared to 39.8 percent for the U.S. 
  • The average size of a farm in Nebraska was 971 acres, up 64 acres from 2012.
  • The number of acres irrigated was 8.6 million acres, up from 8.3 million in 2012. 
  • The total value of agricultural products sold in 2017 was $22.0 billion, down 5 percent from 2012. Of the total value of production, 58 percent originated from livestock and 42 percent from crops. 
  • Average net income per farm was $87,824, down 19 percent from 2012. 
  • The average age of producers was 56.4 years compared to 54.3 years in 2012.
  • The number of young producers, defined as age 35 or less, was 9,141, or 12 percent of all producers. 
  • The number of female producers was 24,730, or 32 percent of all producers. 
  • 81 percent of Nebraska farms have Internet access compared to 75 percent for all U.S. farms. 

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