Stretching from Wyoming to Iowa and larger in area than New York State, Nebraska’s 3rd congressional district is again the No. 1 farm district in the nation, with $16.6 billion in crop and livestock production, says the new edition of the Census of Agriculture.
One-third of America’s 3.4 million farmers are over the age of 65, and nearly a million more of them are within a decade of that milestone, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, released by the USDA on Thursday. For decades, the aging U.S. farmer has been a cause for concern, expressed in this question: Who will feed America in the future? [No paywall]
Farmers in most of the United States will receive questionnaires this month as part of the twice-a-decade Census of Agriculture, but the USDA has decided to delay the survey of producers in Puerto Rico until December 2018.
The USDA will begin mailing questionnaires for the 2017 Census of Agriculture to producers this week, the first step in a survey conducted every five years to create what is the most complete USDA picture of the farm and ranch sector.
In a case of statistical whiplash, the average age of the Canadian farmer is up at the same time the country's Census of Agriculture found a 3 percent increase in the number of farm operators under the age of 35. "This is the first time that there has been an increase in this age category since 1991," said Statistics Canada, which conducts the census every five years.
The USDA says it will mail survey forms at the end of this year for its Census of Agriculture, conducted every five years. The census is "the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation," said administrator Hubert Hamer of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, which conducts the census.
In a story that puts a face on the Census of Agriculture statistic about the increase in Hispanic farmers, the New York Times says, "They have classic American bootstrap stories of grit, determination and a little bit of luck.
Some 70 pct of U.S. farmers have Internet access, up 14 points in five years, says the new Census of Agriculture, based on a 2012 survey. After trailing for years, the farm access rate is similar to the U.S. avg. The Census Bureau says a 2011 survey found 72 pct of U.S. households used the Internet at home.
The Agriculture Department said it will release the full results of the Census of Agriculture on May 2, after more than a year of work.