Farm Talk

Ag News from Around the Country

May 6, 2014

Vilsack comments on Census of Ag update

Parsons, Kansas — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently made the following statement on the updated 2012 Census of Agriculture data:

"The Census results reiterate the continued need for policies that help grow the rural economy from the middle out. The data illustrate the power of USDA efforts to grow the economy and strengthen infrastructure in rural America, create new market opportunities for farmers and ranchers, and provide access to capital, credit and disaster assistance for producers of all sizes. The Census also shows the potential for continued growth in the bioeconomy, organics, and local and regional food systems. USDA will continue to focus on innovative, creative policies that give farmers, ranchers and entrepreneurs the tools they need to attract a bright and diverse body of talent to rural America."

Highlights of the 2012 Census of Agriculture data release include:

•22 percent of all farmers were beginning farmers in 2012. That means 1 out of every 5 farmers operated a farm for less than 10 years.

•Young, beginning principal operators who reported their primary occupation as farming increased from 36,396 to 40,499 between 2007 and 2012. That's an 11.3 percent increase in the number of young people getting into agriculture as a full-time job.

•969,672 farm operators were female—30 percent of all farm operators in the U.S.

•The number of farms ran by Latino farmers increased from 82,462 in 2007 to 99,734 in 2012. That 21 percent increase reflects the changing face of America as a whole.

•70 percent of all farms in the U.S. had internet access in 2012, up from 56.5 percent in 2007, but there is more work to be done to expand internet access in rural America.

•Farmers and ranchers continue to lead the charge towards a more sustainable energy future. 57,299 farms reported using a renewable energy producing system in 2012. That's more than double the 23,451 operations that reported the same in 2007. Solar panels accounted for 63 percent of renewable energy producing systems on farms, with 36,331 farms reporting their use.

•Nearly 150,000 farmers and ranchers nationwide are selling their products directly to consumers, and 50,000 are selling to local retailers. Industry estimates valued local food sales at $7 billion in 2011, reflecting the growing importance of this new market to farm and ranch businesses.

•Total organic product sales by farms have increased by 82 percent since 2007, from $1.76 billion in 2007 to $3.1 billion in 2012. Organic products were a $35 billion industry in the United States in 2013.

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Ag News from Around the Country
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    July 29, 2014

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    Valuing manure and the environment was the platform for the 2014 Manure Expo held at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield, Mo.
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    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

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    July 15, 2014

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    July 8, 2014

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    Last week, the House Natural Resources Committee’s subcommittee on water and power held an oversight hearing entitled “New Federal Schemes to Soak Up Water Authority: Impacts on States, Water Users, Recreation, and Jobs.”

    July 1, 2014

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    A preservative used to cure bacon is being tested as poison for feral hogs.

    June 24, 2014

  • Cargill to move sows to group housing by 2015

    Cargill, one of the largest pork producers in the U.S., is continuing its commitment of moving to group housing for its sows that produce hogs for pork.

    June 17, 2014

  • Bethany-Schifferdecker.jpg Girard FFA member elected state VP

    Bethany Schifferdecker from the Girard FFA chapter was elected to serve as the 2014-2015 state FFA vice-president at the 86th Kansas FFA Convention May 28-30 on the Kansas State University campus.

    June 10, 2014 1 Photo

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    Not many people would move nearly 8,000 miles away to work on a dairy farm.

    June 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • NOAA Seasonal Drought Outlook

    As of May 13, 2014, drought covered approximately 38 percent of the contiguous 48 states, according to the U. S. Drought Monitor.

    May 28, 2014

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