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Preliminary 2012 Census of Agriculture results announced

Posted Feb. 21, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) yesterday released preliminary 2012 Census of Agriculture results, providing a first look at state and national data.

The final report including data for every county in the nation will be available in May.

The 2012 Census reported little change in land in farms with a substantial increase in value of sales for Iowa producers from 2007 to 2012. The preliminary report included information on farm numbers, land in farms, value of sales, and farmer demographics. Some Iowa highlights include:
• The amount of land operated by Iowa farmers declined by less than one percent between 2007 and 2012, from 30.7 million acres to 30.6 million.
• In 2012, the value of agriculture products sold by Iowa farmers totaled $30.8 billion, up nearly 51 percent ($10.4 billion) from 2007. Crop sales accounted for $17.4 billion of the total and livestock sales accounted for $13.4 billion, up 68 and 34 percent, respectively, from 2007.
• Iowa ranked 2nd nationally for total value of agricultural product sales, crop sales and livestock sales in 2012, with Iowa moving up one position from 2007 for each item.
“These preliminary results again show the immense scale and economic impact of agriculture on our state’s economy and the importance of Iowa agriculture nationally,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. “At more than $30 billion, Iowa is 2nd in total value of ag products sold, both crops and livestock. The Census of Ag is an important tool that provides great information, so thank you to all the famers who took the time to participate.”

Nationally, the 2012 Census reported little change in land in farms, a more diverse principal operator population and several historic changes in value of sales for U.S. agriculture producers from 2007 to 2012.

“The release of the preliminary 2012 Census of Agriculture results is only a first look at the data and NASS is eager to publish the final report this May,” said NASS Administrator Cynthia Clark. “The 2012 Census was not conducted in a typical crop year, and drought had a major impact on U.S. agriculture, affecting crop yields, production and prices. NASS is still reviewing all 2012 Census items to the county level and therefore data are preliminary until published in the final report.”

Conducted since 1840, the Census of Agriculture accounts for all U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them.

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