It’s a once-every-five-years snapshot of farming in America, and nearly 80 percent of farmers in Alabama provided information for it.
The 2012 Census of Agriculture “is used by our department, farmers, and as an educational tool for the public and more importantly, those who are in public policy decision making positions, ” says Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan.
The numbers show:
- Both Alabama sales and production expenses reached record highs in 2012. Alabama producers sold $5.57 billion worth of agricultural products, but it cost them $4.7 billion to produce these products.
- Poultry and eggs contributed 85.2 percent of the total livestock, poultry and products sold in Alabama.
- In Alabama, 3.4 percent of farms earning $1 million or more accounted for nearly 63 percent of the value of sales for Alabama products. Farms with less than $1, 000 in sales accounted for 32 percent of Alabama farms.
- Alabama is second in the United States for broilers sold, quail inventory and pounds of peanuts produced.
- Ninety-one percent of all Alabama farms are operated by families or individuals.
- 2, 196 Alabama farm operators reported selling products directly to consumers. In 2012, these sales totaled almost $9.2 million (up 10.3 percent from 2007).
- Alabama farms with Internet access rose from 50.2 percent in 2007 to 64.6 percent in 2012.
The full nationwide report can be found at www.agcensus.usda.gov.
Text by Dave Helms
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