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Census: Indiana Farms in Top 5 for Cover Crop, Renewable Energy
Indiana Ag Connection - 04/12/2019

Thursday the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the final 2017 Census of Agriculture results sharing a wide-range of information about what agricultural products were raised in the United States in 2017, and where, how and by whom they were grown. The data, which are reported at the national, state and county level, will help farmers, ranchers, local officials, agribusiness and others make decisions for the future.

The 2017 Census of Agriculture provides a wide range of demographic, economic, land, and crop and livestock production information. Many of these data about Indiana and our counties are only collected and reported as part of the every-five-year census.

The 2017 Census of Agriculture data show the following key findings for Indiana:

- Number of farms, at 56,649, decreased 2,046 from 2012.

- Land in farms, at 14,969,996 acres, increased 249,600 from 2012.

- Average age of producers was 55.5 years compared with 53.9 in 2012.

- Cropland planted to a cover crop (excluding CRP) totaled 936,118 acres, up from 596,062 in 2012.

- Indiana ranked 3rd among the States with cropland planted to a cover crop.

- Irrigated harvested cropland totaled 553,193 acres, up from 436,004 in 2012.

- 5,859 farms reported renewable energy producing systems, up from 2,397 in 2012.

- Indiana ranked 4th among the states with renewable energy producing systems.

- 7,921 producers served in the Military.

Results are available in many online formats including video presentations, a new data query interface, maps, and traditional data tables. To address questions about the 2017 Census of Agriculture data, @USDA_NASS will host a live Twitter "Ask the Census Experts" #StatChat on April 12 at 1 p.m. ET. All Census of Agriculture information is available at

The Census tells the story of American agriculture and is an important part of our history. First conducted in 1840 in conjunction with the decennial Census, the Census of Agriculture accounts for all U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. After 1920, the Census happened every four to five years. By 1982, it was regularly conducted once every five years. Today, NASS sends questionnaires to nearly 3 million potential U.S. farms and ranches. Nearly 25 percent of those who responded did so online. Conducted since 1997 by USDA NASS -- the federal statistical agency responsible for producing official data about U.S. agriculture -- it remains the only source of comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation and is invaluable for planning the future.

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