Census Shows Economic Growth for Va. Farmers

May 5, 2014

The National Agriculture Statistics service released the final figures for the 2012 Census of Agriculture, and it indicates some good news for Virginia farmers.

Figures from the census show several growth areas in Virginia agriculture.

Key trends include:

- The market value of all agriculture products sold was $3.75 billion, up 29 percent from $2.91 billion in 2007

- The market value for crops sold was $1.36 billion, up 58.5 percent from $858 million in 2007

- The market value for livestock sold was 2.39 billion, up 16.9 percent from 2.05 billion in 2007

- The average value of agriculture products sold per farm was $81,540 compared to $61,334 in 2007.

“This is exciting news for Virginia’s agricultural producers,” said Todd Haymore, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. “Agriculture is Virginia’s largest industry, and today we learned that in market value and other areas, the industry has grown considerably since the last census in 2007."

Other key statistics from Virginia include:

- Land in farms, 8.30 million acres, is up 2.4 percent from 8.10 million acres in 2007

- In 2012, the number of farms in Virginia totaled 46,030, down 2.9 percent (or 1,353 farms) from 47,383 farms in 2007

- The average size of a Virginia farm was 180 acres compared to 171 acres in 2007

- The average age of the principal farm operator was 59.5 years, compared to 58.2 years in 2007

- There were 38,377 principal male operators and 7,653 principal female operators in 2012, compared to 39,537 male and 7,846 female in 2007.

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