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Nebraska Ag News Headlines
Nebraska Ag shifts - shrinking farms, growing workforce
Nebraska Ag Connection - 02/22/2024

While the number of farms in Nebraska has dipped slightly, the latest agricultural census reveals a surprising counterpoint: more people are involved in agriculture. Released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, the 2022 Census data paints a picture of a changing landscape for Nebraska's farms and ranches.

Key takeaways:

• Farm count: 44,479 farms in 2022, down 4% from 2017.

• Producers on the rise: 80,283 producers in 2022, up 4% from 2017 and 10% from 2012.

• Land use: 44 million acres farmed, down 2% from 2017, but still representing 89.4% of Nebraska's land area.

• Average farm size: 989 acres in 2022, an 18-acre increase from 2017.

• Production value: $29.4 billion in 2022, a 34% jump from 2017, with livestock contributing 52% and crops 48%.

• Net income: Averaged $172,677 per farm in 2022, nearly double the 2017 figure.

Producer demographics:

• Average age: 56.9 years (up slightly from 2017).

• Young producers (under 35): 11% of all producers, a slight decrease from 2017.

• Female producers: 33% of all producers, up almost 7% from 2017.

This data reveals a complex shift in Nebraska's agricultural landscape. While the number of farms has decreased, the growing number of producers suggests a more diversified workforce entering the industry.


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