On May 2, USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the 2012 Census of Agriculture.
In 2012, the value of agricultural products sold by Iowa farmers totaled $30.8 billion, up nearly 51 percent from $20.4 billion in 2007. Crop sales were up 68 percent at $17.4 billion and livestock sales were up 34 percent at $13.4 billion. The United States as a whole valued $394.6 billion in all products, up 32.8 percent from 2007
Iowa ranked number 2 for total value of agricultural products, crop sales, and livestock sales in 2012, behind California.
Farmers in Sioux, Lyon, and Kossuth counties had the largest value of sales in 2012. Kossuth county was the top corn producing county in the U.S. and Sioux county ranked 3rd for number or hogs and pigs.
Farmers in Iowa spent $23.7 billion on production expenses, an increase of 54 percent from 2007.
In the 24.5 million acres where Iowa farmers harvested crops, 6.95 million acres had no-till practices and 8.76 million acres had conservation tillage practices.
The number of farms in the U.S. decreased 4.3 percent to 2.1 million. In Iowa, the number of farms was 88,637 in 2012.
The results of the 2012 Census of Agriculture are used by farmers, ranchers, local officials, agribusiness, commodity groups and others to guide future decisions, in evaluating and implementing policies, and to educate consumers.
“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,” Greg Thessen, Regional Director of NASS says, “Many of these data about Iowa and our counties are only collected and reported as part of the every-five-year census.”