USDA Releases the 2017 Census of Agriculture

BATON ROUGE –The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the 2017 Census of Agriculture final results today, Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said. 

The Census of Agriculture, taken every five years, is the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every state and county/parish in the nation.

“The Census of Agriculture information is used in developing the Farm Bill and other farm policy, and when making decisions about disaster relief, community planning, technology development and more,” said Strain. “Census data help accurately represent Louisiana’s diverse agriculture – from large and small crawfish farmers, fruit and vegetable growers, cattle producers, organic and urban farmers to row crop farmers.”

Kathy Broussard, state statistician of the NASS Louisiana Field Office said, “For the first time, the Census report will also include information on military service, food marketing practices and on-farm decision making. Being able to capture the roles and changing makeup of the farming community will help guide decisions about ag education, farm programs, rural development and much more over the next several years.”

Broussard pointed out key highlights identified in the 2017 Census of Agriculture data for Louisiana.

·         Market Value of Agricultural Products Sold - $3,172,978,000 

·         Land in Farms (acres) – 7,997,511 

·         Number of Farms – 27,386 

While the total number of farms decreased slightly, Louisiana saw an increase of 26% in farms with less than 9 acres as acres readjusted within farm size categories.

·         Average size of Farm (acres) – 292 

·         Average Age of producers – 57.4

The report, along with a number of related publications, video presentations, and searchable data query interfaces, are available on the NASS website at https://www.nass.usda.gov/AgCensus/.