Census data shows continued growth in Ohio ag industry PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune   
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 08:52
REYNOLDSBURG,   - Ohio's thriving agriculture industry is seeing continued growth, based on preliminary results of the 2012 Census of Agriculture released recently by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In several cases, Ohio's growth significantly outpaced the nation, highlighting the strength of the state's agricultural producers.
"The preliminary data shows what we have known for years: Ohio's $105 billion food and agriculture industry is built upon a strong and thriving agricultural production base. Our farmers are the backbone of our state's economic growth and this data shows us they are working harder than ever to provide our state with a safe, wholesome and abundant food supply," said Ohio Agriculture Director David T. Daniels.
Among the most notable results in the preliminary data is the increase in the market value of crops and livestock sold since the census was last completed in 2007.  While market value numbers increased 32.78 percent nationally, the value of Ohio crops and livestock increased 42.28 percent.  This is primarily due to a sharp increase in crop values, which increased in Ohio by 60.54 percent but only 47.85 percent nationally.  Ohio is ranked 13th nationally with a total value of crop and livestock sales just over $10 billion in 2012.
While the number of farms has decreased both in Ohio and in the nation, Ohio has lost only 0.5 percent of its farms when the number of farms nationally has decreased by 4.3 percent; Ohio now ranks 7th for the number of farms in the nation with 75,462. Furthermore, in a time when farm acres are disappearing, with the nation losing about 7.5 million acres of farmland since the 2007 census, the numbers of acres in agricultural production in Ohio have remained steady and actually increased slightly. The state now has 13.96 million acres of farmland.
"One of the most important takeaways to remember about the Census of Agriculture is that the information is used for decision-making by producers as well as all those who serve farmers and rural communities - federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations and many others," said USDA State Statistician Cheryl Turner. "When we look at the data for our state, we can all use it as a snapshot in time to see how Ohio agriculture is changing over time and how we compare to the rest of the country."
The Census of Agriculture is a complete count, taken every five years by the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, of America's farms and ranches and the people who operate them. More information on the Census of Agriculture including a copy of the preliminary results can be viewed at www.agcensus.usda.gov. A final version of the report is scheduled to be released in May.
 

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