Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the final 2012 Census of Agriculture results sharing a wide-range of information about what agricultural products were raised in the United States in 2012, and where, how and by whom they were grown. The data, which is reported at the national, state and county level, will help farmers, ranchers, local officials, agribusiness and others make decisions for the future.
“The 2012 Census of Agriculture provides a wide range of demographic, economic, land, and crop and livestock production information as well as first-time or expanded data,” said Vic Tolomeo, Director, USDA-NASS Pacific Region. “Many of these data about California and our counties are only collected and reported as part of the every-five-year census.”
The 2012 Census of Agriculture data show the following key trends for California.
- Ranked #1 in the U.S., agricultural sales in Fresno County were greater than those in 23 states.
- Of the top 10 counties in the U.S. in terms of sales, all but one is in California. After Fresno County, the top 10 U.S. counties are:
2. Tulare County, CA
3. Kern County, CA
4. Monterey County, CA
5. Merced County, CA
6. San Joaquin, CA
7. Stanislaus County, CA
8. Imperial, CA
9. Weld, CO
10. Kings CA
- The market value of agricultural products sold in California totals $42.6 billion, up $8.7 billion from 2007.
- At 5,845 farms, California is the top state using renewable energy producing systems in agriculture. Solar is the most common renewable energy producing system on farms and ranches in The Golden State.
- The average age of the California farmer is 60.1, up from 58.4 in 2007.
- In 2012, the number of farms with a value of sales $500,000 or more increased from 8,580 in 2007 to 9,519 in 2012.
- Total farm production expenses for California increased from $27.0 billion in 2007 to $35.5 billion in 2012.
To provide easier access to the data, NASS created a number of online tools for people to find and use Census data, including:
- Quick Stats 2.0 – an online database to retrieve customized tables. For those new to this tool, a new tutorial video provides easy-to-follow instructions.
- API – a tool for developers.
- Agricultural Atlas Maps – profiles of the nation’s agriculture at the county-level in a series of multicolor pattern and dot maps
- Desktop Data Query Tool– a downloadable desktop tool to analyze data without Internet access once you have downloaded and installed this tool.
For more information about the Census of Agriculture including all the final 2012 Census of Agriculture results, and tools to access and share the data, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov