#215. USDA’s 2007 Census of Agriculture – Conclusion

Posted on | The Agurban

USDA’s 2007 Census of Agriculture – Conclusion

Our final installment in our look at the USDA’s 2007 Census of Agriculture will look at the economics of farming. In 2007, U.S. farms sold $297 billion in agricultural products while incurring $241 billion in production expenses. Income from sales increased 48 percent between 2002 and 2007, while production expenses increased 39 percent. The steepest cost increases were for gasoline and fuel, up 93 percent, and fertilizer, up 86 percent.

The value of agricultural production is concentrated in a few regions: the Midwest, the Mississippi Delta, California and the Atlantic Coast. The top five states for the value of agricultural products sold and their percentage of total value are: California (11.4 percent), Texas (7.1 percent), Iowa (6.9 percent), Nebraska (5.2 percent) and Kansas (4.8 percent).  In addition, fifty percent of the total value of agricultural products comes from nine states: California, Texas, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The single largest county in terms of agricultural products sold in 2007 was Fresno County, California, with $3.7 billion.

The top five industries in terms of net cash income produced were grains and oilseeds, milk, poultry and eggs, fruits and nuts, and nursery and greenhouses.  Some industries has negative income, including sheep and goats, and aquaculture and other animals (including horses).

In total, $8 billion in government payments were received by 840,000 farms in 2007, with an average payment of $9500 per farm. Most of these payments went to farms that produced grains and oilseeds. Of the $8 billions, $1.8 billion was for the Conservation Reserve Program, which removes environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production.

Items added for the first time in the 2007 Census include Organic Production, On-Farm Energy Generation, Number of Farms “Marketed Through Community Supported Agriculture”, and Number of Farms with “Barns Built Prior to 1960”, which is 664,264 for the country as a whole. The 2007 Census also looked at high-speed Internet access for the first time, with 58 percent of farmers having a high speed connection.

The complete report can be found at www.agcensus.usda.gov. You may also find your county’s statistics at State and County Profiles.