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February 4, 2009

2007 Census of Agriculture Finds More Farms

Columbia, MO – After completing a year-long effort to measure and quantify the status of U.S. agriculture, the USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the survey results today. The 2007 Agricultural Census for Missouri found some interesting results such as the number of farms increasing by 1 percent from the 2002 count. “Higher commodity prices have allowed many more operations to meet the minimum farm definition of $1,000 of production or sales,” said Gene Danekas, Director of Missouri Agricultural Statistics. “Couple that with NASS’s extra effort to identify all types and sizes of agricultural operations.” The Missouri farm count, at 107,825 is up more than 1,000 farms since the 2002 count with Missouri continuing to be ranked second only to Texas in the number of agricultural operations.

The 2007 value of production is pegged at a record $7.51 billion dollars, up nearly 51 percent from 2002, with crops sales accounting for 47 percent and livestock accounting for the remaining 53 percent of total sales. Expenditures for producing this level of output are measured at $6.14 billion, up more than $1.5 billion since 2002.

The 2007 Census includes some new ways to look at the State’s agriculture. For 2007, Missouri’s farms were categorized by typology, the type of farm by operator status. Missouri’s 107,825 farms are made up of 40 percent lifestyle farms while 21 percent are categorized as retirement farms. These two largest categories account for 13 percent of all agricultural sales. Non-family corporations and other non-family type farms make up less than 4 percent of all farms.

The value of the Census is in the data. The new Census contains valuable insights into the value of agriculture to every county in the nation, showing leading crop, and livestock production centers as well as demographic data and expenditures of the operations. A complete review of today’s report can be found at and contains the most comprehensive analysis of agriculture at the county level available. NASS has developed several easy-to-use tools that can be used online or can be downloaded to enhance a user’s ability to analyze almost any part of agriculture. For more information, visit the website or call 800-551-1014 for additional information on Missouri agriculture.

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