Preliminary 2012 Ag Census Good News for New Englanders
The 2012 Census of Agriculture Preliminary Report is out and there is some exciting news for New Englanders … according to the report, the number of farms in the U.S. has declined … but NOT in New England … that number shows an increase of 5% from 2007 … making the number of farms 34,878.
The preliminary report contains just a fraction of information that will be available in the full report, scheduled to be released later this spring. Other New England highlights from the preliminary report include:
The number of beginning farmers (those with less than 10 years of experience on their current farm) declined at the U.S. level, but increased in New England, with an increase of 401 farmers. Those with less than 5 years increased by 549.
The average age of New England farmers was 57.6 years, up from 56.5 years in 2007.
The number farms with women serving as principal operator increased to 9,695, up 15%.
The percent of farms with women principal operators was 28%, up from 25% in 2007.
Farms with sales of $1 million or more increased 16% for a total of 507.
The total land in New England farms increased 4% -- to 4.211 million acres