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.
It seems that we have just wrapped up the most recent Census of Agriculture, and yet it’s been a year since those data came out. Since then we have also been able to fully wrap up follow-on surveys on irrigation and aquaculture. The latter is especially relevant to us here in Louisiana, as we had 500 aquaculture farms, which sold $90.6 million worth of aquaculture products, according to the 2013 Census of Aquaculture.
Crustaceans (crawfish, shrimp, and prawns) were produced on 566 farms in the U.S. in 2013. Of these, 407 farms were In Louisiana. In 2013, the U.S. crustacean sales totaled $84.9 million, with 42 percent of all of these sales coming from Louisiana. That year our aquaculture farmers sold $35.3 million worth of crustaceans. U.S. farms producing mollusks, including snails, oysters and clams, totaled 756 with sales totaling $329 million. Louisiana had 39 farms producing mollusks with a sales value of $13.4 million.
There are also some pretty unique facts in the Aquaculture Census. For example, in 2013, alligators were raised on only 33 farms nationwide, with 17 of those farms located in the great Bayou State of Louisiana. Total alligator sales in the U.S. in 2013 totaled $62.6 million of which $35.6 million, or 57 percent, were from Louisiana production. There were a total of 12 farms across the U.S. that were producing alligator hides and 9 of those were in Louisiana. There were 10 farms in the U.S. harvesting meat from alligators and 7 of those were Louisiana farms. Louisiana alligator tail meat is prepared in many restaurants in southern Louisiana, so if you ever visit the area, try some alligator tail; it’s delicious!
In 2013 the U.S. raised turtles on 78 farms; 25 of those farms are located in Louisiana. Turtle sales in the U.S. totaled $8.7 million, with Louisiana accounting for $3.71 million or 43 percent of the total U.S. sales. That year, the Census of Aquaculture counted 3.59 million turtles raised on 72 farms in the United States; Louisiana accounted for 62 percent of all of these turtles raised or 2.21 million turtles on 25 farms. In the United States, there were $8.02 million in sales of turtles, not counting the sales of turtle eggs.
Let the good times roll! Or as we say it here in Louisiana, laissez les bon temps rouler!!!