Overview - Ag Census Web Maps

The Census of Agriculture provides a detailed picture every five years of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Conducted by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the 2012 Census of Agriculture collected more than six million data items directly from farmers. The Ag Census Web Maps application makes this information available at the county level through a few clicks. The maps and accompanying data help users visualize, download, and analyze Census of Agriculture data in a geospatial context.

The Ag Census Web Maps give researchers, policymakers, planners, lenders, agriculture agencies, agribusinesses, and farmers easy access to many factors that affect agriculture and farmers in more than 3,000 counties across the country.

In collaboration with USDA’s Economic Research Service, NASS makes the web maps and associated data available to:

  • Give those who provide services to farmers and rural communities access to community-level data.
  • Give farmers, businesses, policymakers, and others the data to make informed decisions.
  • Give users the ability to interact with the maps.
  • Provide a spatial overview of various aspects of U.S. agriculture.
  • Show spatial relationships and patterns across regions and topics.

Enter the Maps

What Do the Web Maps Include?

The Ag Census Web Maps application assembles maps and statistics from the 2012 Census of Agriculture in five broad categories:

  • Crops and Plants – Data on harvested acreage for major field crops, hay, and other forage crops, as well as acreage data for vegetables, fruits, tree nuts, and berries.
  • Economics – Data on agriculture sales, farm income, government payments from conservation and farm programs, amounts received from loans, a broad range of production expenses, and value of buildings and equipment.
  • Farms – Information on farm size, ownership, and Internet access, as well as data on total land in farms, land use, irrigation, fertilized cropland, and enrollment in crop insurance programs.
  • Livestock and Animals – Statistics on cattle and calves, cows and heifers, milk cows, and other cattle, as well as hogs, sheep, goats, horses, and broilers.
  • Operators – Statistics on hired farm labor, tenure, land rented or leased, primary occupation of farm operator, and demographic characteristics such as age, sex, race/ethnicity, and residence location.

See Download Data and Documentation for a complete list of mapped statistics and data documentation.

What Can You Do with the Web Maps?

The Ag Census Web Maps application allows you to:

  • Select a map to display from a list of five general categories and associated subcategories.
  • Zoom and pan to a specific area; use the inset buttons to center the map on the continental United States; zoom to a specific state; and show the state mask to fade areas surrounding the state.
  • Create and print maps showing the variation in a single data item across the United States (for example, average value of agricultural products sold per farm).
  • Select a county and view and download the county’s data for a general category.
  • Download the U.S. county-level dataset of mapped values for all categories in Microsoft ® Excel format.

Recommended Citation

USDA NASS, 2012 Census of Agriculture, Ag Census Web Maps. Available at:


The National Agricultural Statistics Service gratefully acknowledges the collaboration with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) that enables us to offer the 2012 Census of Agriculture data in this dynamic online tool. ERS used the 2012 Census of Agriculture data to develop the web map application and continues to host and update the Ag Census Web Maps as needed. NASS provided the layer, boundary, and data files used in building the application. ERS has prior experience in building similar atlases, and brought its web-mapping infrastructure, application development software, and strong staff skills to the collaboration. Special recognition and thanks to Vince Breneman, Chief of the Research Support Branch and GIS Program Manager at ERS, for his leadership in the effort.

Last Modified: 08/15/2018