Preliminary Data From Ag Census Shows Aging Farmers, Declining Farms

Feb 21, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is beginning to release figures from its 2012 Census of Agriculture. An early standout in the data is the value of products being sold.

Greg Thessen, with the USDA’s agricultural statistics service, says sales figures come shining through in the preliminary data.

"The biggest thing it showed was the large increase in the market value of products that farmers sold in 2012," he said.

Thessen says that’s a reflection of high crop prices that year. He says an ongoing decline in acres farmed has slowed, though the average age of farmers continues to rise.

The complete census data will be released in May.

Harvest Public Media, based at KCUR, is a collaborative public media project that reports on important agricultural issues in the Midwest. You can read more about the project on their website.