USDA releases 2022 Census of Agriculture

On February 16, 2024, in Farm Income, USDA, by Tom

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service on Tuesday released its latest Ag Census, the 2022 Ag Census, which contains data about the characteristics of United States farms and their operations.

Updated every five years, ag census data provides insights into demographics, economics, land use, and activities on U.S. farms and ranches such as:

  • There were 1.9 million farms and ranches (down seven percent from 2017) with an average size of 463 acres (up five percent) on 880 million acres of farmland (down two percent). That is 39 percent of all U.S. land.
  • Family-owned and operated farms accounted for 95 percent of all U.S. farms and operated 84 percent of land in farms.
  • U.S. farms and ranches produced $543 billion in agricultural products, up from $389 billion in 2017. With farm production expenses of $424 billion, U.S. farms had a net cash income of $152 billion. Average farm income rose to $79,790. A total of 43 percent of farms had positive net cash farm income in 2022.
  • Farms with internet access continued to rise from 75 percent in 2017 to 79 percent in 2022.
  • A total of 153,101 farms and ranches used renewable energy-producing systems compared to 133,176 farms in 2017, a 15 percent increase. The majority of farms (76 percent) with renewable energy systems reported using solar panels.
  • In 2022, 116,617 farms sold directly to consumers, with sales of $3.3 billion. The value of sales increased 16 percent from 2017.
  • The 105,384 farms with sales of $1 million or more were six percent of U.S. farms and 31 percent of farmland; they sold more than three-fourths of all agricultural products. The 1.4 million farms with sales of $50,000 or less accounted for 74 percent of farms, 25 percent of farmland, and two percent of sales.
  • Nearly three-fourths of farmland was used by farms specializing in two commodity categories: oilseed and grain production (32 percent) and beef cattle production (40 percent).
  • The average age of all producers was 58.1, up 0.6 years from 2017. This is a smaller increase than average age increases between prior censuses.
  • There were just over one million farmers with 10 or fewer years of experience, an increase in the number of beginning farmers from 2017 of 11 percent. Beginning farmers are younger than all farmers, with an average age of 47.1.
  • The number of producers under age 35 was 296,480, comprising nine percent of all producers. The 221,233 farms with young producers making decisions tend to be larger than average in both acres and sales.
  • In 2022, 1.2 million female producers accounted for 36 percent of all producers. Fifty-eight percent of all farms had at least one female decision-maker.

Ag census data highlight publications are available here.