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2017 Census of Agriculture data now available

RALEIGH – The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service North Carolina office has announced the results of the 2017 Census of Agriculture with new information about 46,418 farms and ranches and those who operate them, including first-time data about on-farm decision making, down to the county level.

"For the first time, the Census report will also include information on military service, food marketing practices and on-farm decision making. Capturing the roles and the changing makeup of the farming community will provide insights to agricultural trends helping guide decisions about farm programs, rural development and much more over the next several years," said Dee Webb, NASS North Carolina State Statistician. "This information and much more is available in many online formats including a new data query interface, as well as the traditional data tables."

Some key North Carolina highlights include:

• Market Value of Agricultural Products Sold was $12,900,674,000;

• Land in Farms – 8,430,522 acres;

• The average size of a farm – 182 acres; and

• The average age of farmers – 58.1.

For the 2017 Census of Agriculture, NASS changed the demographic questions to represent better the roles of all persons involved in on-farm decision making. As a result, in 2017 the number of North Carolina producers was up 1.6 percent.

Other demographic highlights include: Female producers increased by 22.7 percent; 36 percent of producers under 35 years of age were involved in estate/succession planning; 447 Asian producers had an average total value of production of $1,024,013.

"Agriculture has a major impact on North Carolina's economy, and I want to thank all of our farmers and producers that took the time to participate in the 2017 Census of Agriculture," said Webb. "They used their voice to help shape their future by taking the opportunity to tell their story."

Results are available in many online formats including video presentations, a new data query interface, maps and traditional data tables. All Census of Agriculture information is available at www.nass.usda.gov/AgCensus.

The MItchell News

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