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2012 Census of Agriculture shows number of farms decline, market values on the rise


By Mitchell Walbridge

Mon, May 19th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

The Minnesota statistics of the 2012 Census of Agriculture may be on the spectrum of suprising to concerning, depending on how you interpret them. The census is completed every five years with a wide range of data collected; everything from what agricultural products were raised in the United States within a given year, where the products were raised, in what quantity and details about by whom the products were grown.

All of the information is compiled by reports on the national, state and county levels. Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture Dave Frederickson said, “Census data provides the foundation of information needed to design programs and initiatives that support agriculture and serve the farmers across Minnesota.”

The 2012 data revealed some interesting statistics and trends on Minnesota farming, including data for the counties of Fillmore and Houston.

Quantity of Farms

The number of farms in Minnesota fell to 74,542 for 2012, down 8 percent from 2007. From previous reports of 1997, 2002, and 2007, this is a change in the trend as farm numbers increased between each of those years. Then number of farms in Fillmore County fell from 1,667 in 2007 to 1,553 in 2012. Similarly, Houston County’s farms fell from 1,041 in 2007 to 920 in 2012.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, “A farm is defined as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the Census year.”

Land in Farms

Land for the purpose of farming totaled 26 million acres in 2012, down 3 percent from 2007. Decreased land used for pastures and wood land offset the gains in cropland harvested acres.

Fillmore and Houston counties contributed to the 3 percent decrease. Fillmore County saw a decrease from 446,331 acres in 2007 to 422,484 in 2012. Houston County saw a decrease from 244,404 acres in 2007 to 229,226 acres in 2012.

From the most recent data the average size of farms in Fillmore County is 272 acres and 249 acres in Houston County.

Market Values

In spite of the fewer number of farms and less land area, the market value of agricultural products sold increased 61 percent since 2007. This increase exists even after production expenses increased 50 percent. The 2012 Census reports that after an increase of net cash farm income, .....
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Farmers Co-op Elevator hires general manager, Gordy Elliott

Fri, May 2nd, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

The Farmers Co-op Elevator (FCE) board of directors is pleased to announce that they have hired Gordy Elliott to be the new general manager. Elliott will be responsible for the overall management of FCE. Elliott brings a wealth of knowledge and exper ..... 
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USDA announces additional support for small and midsized farmers and ranchers - Second major small farmer package this year includes research awards, technical assistance and marketing support

Fri, May 2nd, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on April 29 additional support and resources for America’s small and midsized farmers and ranchers. The announcement includes $7 million in university research awards in support of small and midsized producers; ..... 
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Funds help schools put healthy food on the plate: Farm to School Grants awarded across the state

Fri, May 2nd, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Several Minnesota school districts are able to upgrade their kitchens thanks to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Farm to School Grant. More than $250,000 is being awarded to fund 15 school districts and their loca ..... 
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Preston Historical Society announces tractor ride dates

Fri, Apr 25th, 2014
Posted in Preston Agriculture

The Preston Historical Society has set Saturday and Sunday, September 13 and 14 for a two-day autumn tractor ride through the scenic Bluff Country of southeast Minnesota. The round-about ride will begin and end each day at the Fillmore County Fairgr ..... 
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Area farmers’ markets promote local in southeast Minnesota/northeast Iowa

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Apr 18th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

Shop local. Dine local. Buy local. The energy behind the movement of supporting what’s in our own backyards is massive and it doesn’t appear to be slowing any time soon. Americans are tired of not knowing what’s in a product or where it comes f ..... 
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Farmers’ Market season just weeks away

Fri, Apr 18th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Agriculture

It may be hard to tell, given the dismal start to spring and winter’s icy grip on our area, but local farmers’ markets are just weeks away from opening. Market organizers are working to bring in vendors of all sorts and customers are equally as e ..... 
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MILC program extended and start month revisions

Fri, Apr 18th, 2014
Posted in Preston Agriculture

PRESTON, Minn. - Tammy Martin, County Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Fillmore County announced that the 2014 Farm Bill extended the MILC program until September 1, 2014, or until the date on which the new Dairy Margin Protecti ..... 
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Beef council’s referendum voted down by producers - Minnesota beef producers decline fee increase

Fri, Apr 18th, 2014
Posted in All Agriculture

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota’s beef producers have rejected the Minnesota Beef Research and Promotion Council’s proposed referendum asking for an increase in check-off dollars. Sixty-three percent of the 1,525 voting producers voted against the ..... 
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