#578 – We are still interested in farming…Posted on
We are still interested in farming…
As many of our readers know, the roots of Agracel are in farming. The company began as a farmland investment company. Even our name is tied to the land: Agriculture + Excel = Agracel. As the years passed Agracel’s core focus turned from farm ground to industrial development in rural America. But we have always maintained our interest in agriculture and farming in general. This week we want to share some recently released information from the USDA’s Economic Research Service and the Census of Agriculture.
Farming is still an industry of family businesses. Ninety-nine percent of U.S. farms are family farms, and they accounted for 90 percent of farm production in 2014. Nonfamily farms accounted for only 1 percent of U.S. farms and 10 percent of production.
Small family farms accounted for 90 percent of all U.S. farms and operated 46 percent of farmland in 2014. Off-farm occupation farms alone made up 45 percent of U.S. farms but accounted for only 16 percent of farmland and 5 percent of production. Most production—68 percent—occurs on the 9 percent of farms classified as midsize or large-scale family farms, which also account for 51 percent of all farmland.
The Census of Agriculture is conducted every five years, with the last Census taking place in 2012. One statistic that we follow, and that is of concern to us, is the average age of the principal farm operators. In the 2012 Census, the average farmer age was 58 and has been greater than 50 since the 1974 Census.
You can be sure we will continue to monitor the state of farming in the United States. After all, we cannot forget our roots!