2014 Census Profiles Iowa Farmers and Agriculture

Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National
Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the final 2012 Census of Agriculture results
sharing a wide-range of information about agriculture at the national, state and county level.
This information will be used by farmers, ranchers, local officials, agribusiness, commodity
groups and others to guide future decisions, in evaluating and implementing policies, and to
educate consumers, which will provide a return on the investment made by the thousands of
farmers who completed their Census form.
“The 2012 Census of Agriculture provides a wide range of demographic, economic,
land, and crop and livestock production information as well as first-time or expanded data,” said
Greg Thessen, Regional Director. “Many of these data about Iowa and our counties are only
collected and reported as part of the every-five-year census.”
The 2012 Census of Agriculture data show the following key trends for Iowa.
 In 2012, the value of agricultural products sold by Iowa farmers totaled $30.8
billion, up nearly 51 percent or $10.4 billion from 2007. Crop sales accounted for
$17.4 billion of the total and livestock sales accounted for $13.4 billion, up 68 and
34 percent, respectively, from 2007.
 Iowa ranked 2nd nationally for total value of agricultural products, crop sales and
livestock sales in 2012, with Iowa moving up one position from 2007 for each
 Farmers in Sioux, Lyon, and Kossuth counties had the largest value of sales in
2012, with Kossuth county ranking as the top corn producing county in the U.S.
and Sioux county ranking 3rd nationally for the number of hogs and pigs sold.
 Farmers spent a total of $23.7 billion on production expenses in 2012, up nearly
54 percent from the $15.4 billion in 2007.
 The amount of land operated by Iowa farmers declined by less than one percent
between 2007 and 2012, from 30.7 million acres.
 Farmers harvested crops from 24.5 million acres in 2012 with no-till practices
used on 6.95 million acres and conservation tillage practices used on 8.76 million
 The average farm size of the 88,637 Iowa farms was 345 acres in 2012.
“The Census of Ag is an extremely valuable snapshot of agriculture in Iowa and across the
nation that helps tell the story of our state’s farmers,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill
Northey. “The results released today again show the tremendous economic impact of agriculture
on our state’s economy and the importance of Iowa agriculture nationally. It also contains
conservation practices used on farms, showing that farmers use
no-till or conservation tillage on two-thirds of their crop acres.”
For more information about the Census of Agriculture including all the final 2012 Census
of Agriculture results, and tools to access and share the data, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.
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