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Farming at the Crossroads of America

Posted by Greg Matli, Indiana State Statistician, National Agricultural Statistics Service in Conservation
Feb 21, 2017
Indiana State Infographic
Indiana is “The Crossroads of America” and the state’s farms, dairies, and agricultural operations are as varied as America itself. Check back next Thursday for another spotlight from the 2012 Census of Agriculture.

The Census of Agriculture is the most complete account of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Every Thursday USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will highlight new Census data and the power of the information to shape the future of American agriculture.

The 2012 Census of Agriculture results are out and, just as many predicted, Indiana agriculture continues to grow. True to our state's motto, "The Crossroads of America," the state of Indiana has a very diverse agriculture. The Hoosier State is a large contributor of corn, soybeans, tomatoes, ducks, milk, hogs, chickens and turkeys. And these are just a few of many commodities produced in Indiana.

According to the census results, there are 58,695 farms (ranking 7th nationally) on 14,720,396 acres of farm land in Indiana. Even though 2012 was a drought year, Indiana ranked 10th nationally in total sales by topping $11 billion, a 36 percent increase from just five years ago, which was the last time my agency conducted the Census of Agriculture. We also ranked 7th nationally in crop sales with just over $7.5 billion and 18th nationally in livestock sales with just over $3.6 billion.

The majority of our agricultural income in Indiana traditionally comes from crops and 2012 was no exception. Indiana growers produced more than 597 million bushels of corn and sold nearly $4.1 billion worth of this crop. Our local growers also produced nearly 219 million bushels of soybeans which results in sales of more than $2.9 billion and more than 19 million bushels of winter wheat, with total sales amounting to more than $140 million.

Not to be outdone, the Livestock industry is also well represented in the Hoosier State. Indiana farmers sold more than $659 million worth of milk in 2012, putting Indiana into 14th place nationally in that category. And hog sales were just below that number at over $1.2 billion in sales. In the poultry industry, Indiana ranked 3rd nationally with a layer inventory of over 25 million layers and ranked 7th nationally with a turkey inventory of over 5 million.

On the demographics side, the average age of Indiana farmers is 55.8 years, which is below than the national average of 58.3 years. Only 4,764 operators are under the age of 35 and slightly less than 16 percent of our principal operators have been operating any farm less than 10 years. Women are the principal operator on over 9 percent of Indiana farms.

These are just some of the exciting facts about Indiana agriculture. For more data on the Hoosier State, check out our complete 2012 Census of Agriculture.

Category/Topic: Conservation

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