2012 US Farm Census

Published on: 09:58AM May 13, 2014

The USDA performs a farm census every five years. They just released the final numbers for the 2012 census. Over the next few months, I will do various posts regarding this census on a more detailed basis, but I thought I would give some highlights now:

  • Total US farm sales for 2012 were $395 billion dollars up from $297 billion in 2007 (the last census taken).
  • Total farms with more than $500,000 of sales is 155,178 (out of 2.1 million total farms) which is about 7.4% of the total farmers in the US. However, these farms produce $317 billion of sales which is about 80% of all farm sales and if you include all farms over $250,000 in sales, you equal about 89% of all farm revenue.
  • As you can probably guess, California is still number one in farm revenue at $42.6 billion up from $33.9 billion in 2007. Iowa is number 2 at $30.8 billion up from $20.4 billion.
  • There are 11 other states with revenues in excess of $10 billion - Texas ($25.4), Nebraska ($23.1), Minnesota ($21.3), Kansas ($18.5), Illinois ($17.2), North Carolina ($12.6), Wisconsin ($11.7), Indiana ($11.2), North Dakota ($10.9) and South Dakota and Ohio each at $10.1.
  • The major row crops by value are (1) Corn $67.25 billion, (2) soybeans $38.7 billion, and (3) wheat $15.8 billion.
  • Livestock values are (1) Cattle $76.4 billion, (2) Poultry and eggs $42.8 billion, (3) Milk $35.5 billion and (4) Hogs $22.5 billion.
  • For the first time (at least in a long-time), crop values exceeded livestock values at $212 billion versus $182 billion. In 2007, crop values were $144 billion and livestock was $154 billion.
  • Total vegetable values were $16.9 billion and all fruit sales were $25.9 billion for about $43 billion of total fruits and vegetables or about 11% of total farm sales.

This is just some of the summary data available at the USDA on the census. If you are interested in getting more detail, you can access the census data here.