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census of agriculture

Data Say…Dairy Has Changed

When I was younger, I loved to watch a cartoon on TV called ‘The Jetsons,’ which showed life in a future world. People had flying, self-driven “cars” and robotic housekeepers. As a kid who loved her meat and potatoes, I distinctly remember one scene in which Judy Jetson served a steak dinner by getting a pill from a vending-type machine. Her father, George Jetson, savored the two small bites filled with flavor and nutrition. This meal satisfied him completely. I couldn’t then imagine that futuristic dinner scene being a reality, and I still don’t. But technology, science, and marketing have changed the way we produce our food and have altered the structure of farming. Data tell us so. Let’s look at milk as an example.

At the Heart of The Buckeye State

Ever wonder where Ohio’s nickname came from? Ohio is commonly referred to as “The Buckeye State” due to the prevalence of the Ohio Buckeye, named Ohio’s official state tree in the 1950s. According to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the name refers to the tree’s nuts and their resemblance to the eye of a deer. But don’t eat these nuts! NRCS warns that all parts of the Ohio Buckeye are toxic to humans and livestock. Luckily there are many other things we can eat that come out of this great state.

Every Day is Earth Day for Ag Producers

After a trip to Colorado’s Pikes Peak in 1893, Katharine Lee Bates wrote the lyrics to “America the Beautiful.” The memorable words paint a sensory-rich picture of “amber waves” and “fruited plains” that celebrate our land and the true wealth of any nation – agriculture. Today, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, the United States has more than 900 million acres of land in farms; that’s 40% of all U.S. land. And we rely on the 3.4 million producers, around 1% of our population, to manage that land and provide food, feed, fiber and fuel for our nation and the world.

NASS Builds Its Future on 150-Year Foundation of Agricultural Statistics

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is well known for being the gold standard for U.S. agricultural data that can help you in your work. We are proud of our reputation for providing useful, accurate data in service to U.S. agriculture for more than 150 years. When extension agents or farm associations write grants to advance agricultural research, they turn to NASS data. When farmers and ranchers want to compare their operation to others or gather unbiased information for marketing decisions, they can turn to NASS data. And when local governments and ag associations are looking to tout the importance of agriculture in their county or state, they turn to NASS data.

Mississippi Rises to the Top of U.S. Aquaculture

Agriculture continues to be Mississippi’s top industry for revenue generated in the Magnolia State. Poultry is Mississippi’s largest agricultural commodity, leading as the most valuable livestock product including eggs-layers with sales valued at $3.1 billion. The 2017 Census of Agriculture showed that producers raised and sold $6.2 billion in crops and livestock.

Family Farms Flourish in Sweet Grown Alabama

Families are the cornerstone of agriculture in Alabama (PDF, 947 KB) where 97% of farms counted in the recent 2017 Census of Agriculture are family owned. Although the number of farms in Alabama decreased 6% from 2012, the average size of farms increased 3%, mirroring a trend seen in states across the nation. With 73% of farms connected to the Internet, Alabama farms and ranches continue to reach others across the globe.

Cheese and So Much More: Ag Census Data Show Multi-Faceted Wisconsin Farm Economy

Wisconsin (PDF, 941 KB) is known as America’s Dairyland; however, the 2017 Census of Agriculture data show us that Wisconsin has a diverse agricultural industry. It’s no surprise Wisconsin ranks number one in cheese production, but did you know it also ranks number one in corn for silage, cranberry, and snap bean production?

Nevada – We Grow Things Here!

While UFO spotting on the Alien Highway and non-stop entertainment in Las Vegas beckon people all over the world to Nevada, many might miss out on the thriving agricultural community that lives and works throughout every county in the state. According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, over 3,400 farm operations cover more than 6.1 million acres or 8.7 percent of the Silver State. The average farm size in Nevada--1,790 acres--is the third largest average for all U.S. states. When compared to Nevada’s median state farm size of 42 acres (half the farms above this acreage, half below), the data indicate there are some BIG operations here.

A Rare Glimpse at Traditional Crops Grown in New Mexico

Farming has been a part of New Mexico for over 2,500 years, ever since Native Americans first grew corn, squash, and beans throughout the region. The 2017 Census of Agriculture provides a rare look into our state’s agriculture crop acreages and livestock numbers. For instance, the 2017 Ag Census shows Native Americans account for 24 percent of New Mexico's farms and ranches. Maize, a crop traditionally grown here, can be found on 596 farms with 1,923 acres of the native corn.