By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
On May 2, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the full results of its 2012 Ag Census. Earlier this year, the USDA released preliminary data of the census.
The agriculture census provides a snapshot of the U.S. farm sector, highlighting demographics, economics and production practices. It is conducted once every five years.
• In 2012, 22% of all U.S. farmers were classified as beginning farmers
• Between 2007 and 2012, young/beginning farmers who said that farming was their primary occupation increased from 36,396 to 40,499.
• Demographics: 30% of all farm operations in the U.S. were female (969,672)
• Demographics: the number of Latino farmers increased by 21% from 2007 to 2012 (82,462-99,734)
• In 2012, 70% of U.S. farms reported that they had internet access
• Renewable energy use: Solar panels accounted for 63% of renewable energy systems on U.S. farms
• Organic food sales increased by 82% since 2007
The full census can be accessed at www.agcensus.usda.gov.