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February 25, 2014

2012 Census of Agriculture Preliminary Results Available

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

The Agriculture Department’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released its preliminary results from the 2012 Census of Agriculture last week. The results reveal some interesting trends - according to American Farm Bureau Chief Economist Bob Young. Seanica Otterby has the story.
OtterbyThe 2012 Census of Agriculture preliminary report only looked at principle operators, American Farm Bureau Chief Economist Bob Young says.
YoungThat data would suggest that we’re down by about 100,000 farmers in 2012 relative to the 2007 census. That would be out of about 2.2 million or so that we would have had in the 2007 census.
OtterbyYoung says there were some increased farm numbers in the Northeast, Southeast and Southwest, but other than that, he says the full data set that will be released in May will provide more information on other farm operators.
YoungThe age of farmers, as has been historically the case, went up by a little more than a year or so relative to what the average age of farmers was in the 2007 census.
OtterbyYoung says that’s been a trend since the 1980s. The average age of a farmer today is 58 years. Young also points out that NASS does not release data from individual farmers. Seanica Otterby, Washington.

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