Friday, May 29, 2009

Chickens, Pigs, and Cows... Oh My!

The United States Department of Agriculture conducts a Census of Agriculture every five years, collecting vital information related to the production of plant and animal crops throughout the country. They recently released results from the 2007 Census.

The data answer almost any question a person could possibly have about agriculture:

  • How many acres of farmland are there throughout the country you ask? 922,095,840

  • How many cows are in the average "herd" you ask? 100

  • How much money does the government spend on farm subsidies each year you ask? $8 billion, up from $6.5 billion in 2002

  • How many farms in Oregon, that made more than $10,000 in 2007, are operated by women you ask? 1,125

  • Which Oregon county had the most farm workers in 2007 you ask? Marion, with 16,916

  • How many organic farms were in operation throughout the country in 2007 you ask? 18,211

The data collected is extensive, and incredibly valuable as it is the primary source of information about the nation's agriculture industry. The entire report can be viewed at the USDA website, where you can also find Oregon specific data, or data to compare to Oregon's counties.

The next Ag Census, which will cover the year 2012, will be released in 2014.

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