More farmers tending fewer acres

More local agricultural producers are farming fewer acres per operation, five-year trends published by the federal government show.

Ag census

The USDA published detailed agriculture results on local operations in conjunction with its 2017 census. (EXAMINER PHOTO | NATE SMITH)

There are 1,009 farms in Logan County, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture census released April 11.

The National Agriculture Statistics Service publishes nationwide agriculture data every five years based on producers’ responses to mailed questionnaires.

All rural or urban operations growing fruit, vegetables and some food animals with at least $1,000 or more products raised and sold are included for the purpose of the census.

The 2012 USDA census registered 868 Logan County farms. The size of the average local operation has decreased in the last five years, census data shows.

The average Logan County farm encompassed 245 acres in 2012. When the data was measured in 2017, the average county farm was 209 acres.

Average net income per farm has also decreased dramatically in the last five years. According to ag census data, the average net cash income per farm was $34,710 in 2017 — down from $74,170 in the previous 2012 census.

The majority of the increase in the overall number of farming operations was driven by smaller outfits.

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