‘12 Ag Census Trends for Small and Large Farms

The recent 2012 Ag Census sheds light on new shifts in farm sizes and sales. Not surprisingly, the biggest crop and livestock farms are continuing to expand. Even though the total number of farms has slipped 4.3%, large farms – those over 1,000 acres – have cropped up.

Large Farm Ag Census Data:

  • Farms with more than 1,000 acres of corn have increased by 7%.
  • Farms with more than 1,000 acres of cows have increased by 14%.
  • Large egg farms, with over 100,000 hens, now own 77% of the nation’s hen population.

 

Clearly, large farms are killing it in terms of expanding production. But what about smaller farming operations? What does that data suggest?

Well, the data points to progress.

Even though the total number of farms with under 50 acres slipped 4%, specialized farms scored some wins.

Small Farm Ag Census Data:

  • Small farms (under 50 acres) growing corn increased by 5%.
  • Small farms with under 20 milks cows increased by 12%.
  • Farms with fewer than 100 hens increased by 38%.
  • Specialized farms, especially organic farms, have realized substantial growth as a result of online communications and local selling at farmers markets and other market networks.
  • Smaller farms have realized a substantial growth in sales.

 

It’s likely that the next Ag Census in 2017 will show this small-farm expansion continuing! Good news for small farming ventures!

Are you seeking to expand production? Need farmland financing support? Consider our one-of-a-kind ag lending program: AgAmerica. Interest rates for these loans often beat all other agriculture loan programs and support a variety of agriculture projects and resets. Whether you’re buying more cattle or hens, or you’re looking to expand your corn fields, these ag loans have you covered. To learn more about these farm loan options, contact us today!

Georgia Ag: Census Shows Fewer Farmers, Bigger Farms

According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s recently released 2012 ag census, the number of farms in Georgia is fewer, but the operations that remain are big and booming.

The census, taken every 5 years, is released to shed light on the state of American agriculture. Tracking the number of farmers, farmer demographics, farms, farmland, and value of ag products, this government conducted survey provides a revealing agricultural snapshot.

The preliminary findings suggest that American agriculture, as a whole, has experienced a promising boom, with market values of crops, livestock and total ag products reaching record highs despite the shrinking number of farms and farmers. Though the national trend shows that business is booming (for larger farms), fewer actual farmers (owning mid-sized farms) are remaining in business. Georgia follows this trend.

Farms in Georgia bring in $70 billion to the state’s economy. Top commodities include broiler chickens, peanuts, cotton and eggs. The market value for crops, livestock and poultry all increased greatly from 2007-2012. In fact, Georgia farms saw an almost 50 percent increase in average market value since 2007.

Though Georgia farms decreased in number by 12 percent, the average acreage of a farm — 228, about half the national average — increased by 8 percent. The mean acreage — 70 acres — also increased.

Other Georgia Ag Census Preliminary Data:

  • 6,400 female-owned farms operate in Georgia, down 15 percent;
  • The average farmer age is 60, 2 years older than in 2007;
  • More Hispanics and less African Americans are farming for a living;
  • Approx. 500,000 acres in Georgia were taken out of agricultural production since 2007.

 

Overall, the findings look fortunate for large-sized farms, but unlucky for mid-sized ag operations.

Time to start, enhance, or expand your Georgia ag operation? Call on Bankers South! We are the ONLY ag lending company in the Southeast authorized to offer AgAmerica farm loans. What makes these ag loans so special? For starters, interest rates for these loans often beat all other agriculture loan programs. Plus, they support all facets of farming, from hobby farms to large-sized cotton operations. Want to learn more about our ag loans and land loans in Georgia? Visit www.bankerssouth.com.

2012 Census Shows Florida Ag Going Strong

Despite all the farming obstacles faced by Florida, including citrus greening and the fall of the housing market on nurseries, its agriculture continues to boom. The United States Department of Agriculture just released its 2012 report, confirming that Florida’s agriculture is going and growing strong.

The census, taken every 5 years, is released to shed light on the state of American agriculture. Tracking the number of farmers, farmer demographics, farms, farmland, and value of ag products, this government conducted survey provides a revealing agricultural snapshot.

The preliminary findings suggest that American agriculture, as a whole, has experienced a promising boom, with market values of crops, livestock and total ag products reaching record highs (though the number of farms is down). While the country saw a decline of farm numbers, Florida and other states saw the opposite.

The survey reveals that Florida agriculture remains an economic engine and job creator, with an increase in farmers, farms, farmland, and minority-operated farms since the last census back in 2007. The census shows that the number of farms in Florida has remained fairly steady (approx. 47,000) with the average age of farmers moving upward.

USDA 2012 Ag Census Findings in Florida:

  • 9,548,342 acres of land in farms, up from 9,231,570 in 2007;
  • 47,740 farm operations, up from 47,463 in 2007;
  • $161,368 is the average sales per farm, down from $164,027 in 2007;
  • 200 acres is the average farm size, up from 195 in 2007; and
  • $7.70 billion in value of products sold, down from $7.78 billion in 2007.

 

Overall, the findings look promising for Florida. Let’s hope this trend of expansion continues! In order for it to do so, however, Florida needs to start recruiting younger farmers to get in on the ag action.

Time to start, enhance, or expand your Florida ag operation? Call on Bankers South! We are the ONLY ag lending company in the Southeast authorized to offer AgAmerica farm loans. What makes these ag loans so special? For starters, interest rates for these loans often beat all other agriculture loan programs. Plus, they support all facets of farming, from smaller farms to vast citrus operations. Want to learn more about these ag loan types? Visit www.bankerssouth.com.