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CRS — USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics (REE) Mission Area: Issues and Background

January 28, 2014 Comments off

USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics (REE) Mission Area: Issues and Background (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via National Agricultural Law Library)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area has the primary federal responsibility of advancing scientific knowledge for agriculture through research, education, and extension. USDA REE responsibilities are carried out by four agencies: the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Economic Research Service (ERS), and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). USDA administers extramural federal appropriations to states and local partners primarily through formula funds and competitive grants.

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Farm Computer Usage and Ownership

August 22, 2013 Comments off

Farm Computer Usage and Ownership (PDF)
Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service

DSL was the most common method of accessing the Internet, with 35 percent of the farms in the United States using it, compared to 38 percent in 2011. Wireless was the second most common method of Internet access at 24 percent in 2013, up from 20 percent in 2011. Dialup access dropped from 12 percent in 2011 to 5 percent in 2013. Cable and satellite access were each reported as the primary Internet access method on 13 and 17 percent of farms in the United States, respectively.

A total of 67 percent of the farms in the United States now have Internet access, compared with 62 percent in 2011. Seventy percent of farms have access to a computer in 2013, up 5 percentage points from 2011. The proportion of United States farms owning or leasing a computer in 2013, at 68 percent, was also up 5 percentage points from 2011. Farms using computers for their farm business increased to 40 percent in 2013 compared to 37 percent in 2011.

In 2013, 84 percent of the farms in the United States with sales and government payments of $250,000 or more have access to a computer, 83 percent own or lease a computer, 72 percent are using a computer for their farm business, and 82 percent have Internet access. Of the farms with sales and government payments between $100,000 and $249,999, the figures are: 73 percent have access to a computer, 71 percent own or lease a computer, 56 percent are using a computer for their farm business, and 69 percent have Internet access. The farms with sales and government payments between $10,000 and $99,999, 68 percent reported having computer access, 66 percent own or lease a computer, 45 percent use a computer for their farm business, and 65 percent have Internet access.

For crop farms, 71 percent have computer access and 45 percent use a computer for their farm business in 2013, both up 4 percentage points from 2011. Internet access for crop farms has increased to 68 percent in 2013, compared with 64 percent in 2011. In 2013, a total of 70 percent of livestock farms have computer access and 66 percent have Internet access.

Land Values – 2013 Summary

August 5, 2013 Comments off

Land Values – 2013 Summary (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistical Service

The United States farm real estate value, a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms, averaged $2,900 per acre for 2013, up 9.4 percent from revised 2012 values. Regional changes in the average value of farm real estate ranged from a 23.1 percent increase in the Northern Plains region to no change in the Southeast region. The highest farm real estate values were in the Cornbelt region at $6,400 per acre. The Mountain region had the lowest farm real estate value at $1,020 per acre.

The United States cropland value increased by $460 per acre (13.0 percent) to $4,000 per acre. In the Northern Plains and Corn Belt regions, the average cropland value increased 25.0 and 16.1 percent, respectively, from the previous year. However, in the Southeast region, cropland values decreased by 2.8 percent.

The United States pasture value increased to $1,200 per acre, or 4.3 percent above 2012. The Southeast region had the largest percentage decrease in pasture value, 1.5 percent below 2012. The Northern Plains had the highest increase at 18.4 percent.

U.S. Farm Production Expenditures Keep Climbing

August 5, 2013 Comments off

U.S. Farm Production Expenditures Keep Climbing
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agriculture Statistical Service

U.S. farmers spent a record-high $351.8 billion on agricultural production in 2012, a 10.4 percent increase from 2011, according to the Farm Production Expenditures report, published today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Crop farms accounted for the majority of production expenditures in 2012. These expenditures totaled $200 billion, increasing 17.4 percent from 2011. Low interest rates boosted new machinery purchases in 2012, increasing the overall farm expenditures for the year. Also, chemicals, fertilizers, and seeds cost crop farmers $55.5 billion last year, accounting for 27.8 percent of crop farms total expense.

On the livestock side, farmers spent $152 billion, up 2.4 percent from 2011. The largest expenditure for livestock farms was feed, on which the producers spent $54.4 billion in 2012. The drought reduced feed availability, causing prices to climb last year, making it the costliest category in the entire agriculture sector.

Farm Computer Usage and Ownership

August 19, 2011 Comments off

Farm Computer Usage and Ownership (PDF)
Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA)

DSL was the most common method of accessing the Internet, with 38 percent of U.S. farms using it, up from 36 percent in 2009. Dialup access dropped from 23 percent in 2009 to 12 percent in 2011. Satellite and wireless were each reported as the primary Internet access methods on 15 and 20 percent of those U.S. farms with Internet access, respectively. Cable was reported as the primary access method on 11 percent of the farms, the same level as 2009.

A total of 62 percent of U.S. farms now have Internet access, compared with 59 percent in 2009. Sixty-five percent of farms have access to a computer in 2011, up 1 percentage point from 2009. The proportion of U.S. farms owning or leasing a computer in 2011, at 63 percent, was up 2 percentage points from 2009. Farms using computers for their farm business remained virtually stable at 37 percent in 2011 compared to 36 percent in 2009.

In 2011, 84 percent of U.S. farms with sales and government payments of $250,000 or more have access to a computer, 83 percent own or lease a computer, 72 percent are using a computer for their farm business, and 82 percent have Internet access. For farms with sales and government payments between $100,000 and $249,999, the figures are: 68 percent have access to a computer, 68 percent own or lease a computer, 52 percent are using a computer for their farm business, and 67 percent have Internet access. Of the farms with sales and government payments between $10,000 and $99,999, 63 percent reported having computer access, 62 percent own or lease a computer, 41 percent use a computer for their farm business, and 60 percent have Internet access.

For crop farms, 67 percent have computer access and 41 percent use a computer for their farm business in 2011, up 2 and 1 percentage points from 2009, respectively. Internet access for crop farms has increased to 64 percent in 2011, compared with 60 percent in 2009. In 2011, a total of 63 percent of livestock farms have computer access and 61 percent have Internet access.

Meat Animals Production, Disposition, and Income: 2010 Summary

May 4, 2011 Comments off

Meat Animals Production, Disposition, and Income: 2010 Summary (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Total 2010 production of cattle and calves, hogs and pigs, and sheep and lambs for the U.S. totaled 72.4 billion pounds, down 1 percent from 2009. Production decreased 3 percent for hogs and pigs, 4 percent for sheep and lambs, but increased 1 percent for cattle and calves.

Total 2010 cash receipts from marketings of meat animals increased 19 percent to $70.0 billion. Cattle and calves accounted for over 73 percent of this total, hogs and pigs nearly 26 percent, and sheep and lambs less than 1 percent.
The 2010 gross income from cattle and calves, hogs and pigs, and sheep and lambs for the U.S. totaled $70.5 billion, up 19 percent from 2009. Gross income for cattle and calves increased 17 percent, hogs and pigs increased 22 percent, and sheep and lambs increased 22 percent over previous year’s gross income.

Cattle and Calves: Cash receipts from marketings of cattle and calves increased 17 percent from $43.9 billion in 2009 to $51.5 billion in 2010. All cattle and calf marketings totaled 55.5 billion pounds in 2010, up 2 percent from 2009.
Hogs and Pigs: Cash receipts from hogs and pigs totaled $17.9 billion during 2010, up 22 percent from 2009. Marketings totaled 31.4 billion pounds in 2010, down 5 percent from 2009.

Sheep and Lambs: Cash receipts from marketings of sheep and lambs in 2010 were $544 million, up 22 percent from 2009. Marketings decreased 3 percent to 493 million pounds.

Farms, Land in Farms, and Livestock Operations 2010 Summary

February 11, 2011 Comments off

Farms, Land in Farms, and Livestock Operations 2010 Summary (PDF)
Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA)

2010 Number of Farms and Land in Farms Highlights

The number of farms in the United States in 2010 is estimated at 2.2 million, virtually unchanged from 2009. Total land in farms, at 920.0 million acres, increased 100 thousand acres from 2009. The average farm size is 418 acres, unchanged from the previous year.

Farm numbers and land in farms are broken down into five economic sales classes. Farms and ranches are classified into these “sales classes” by summing their sales of agricultural products and government program payments. Sales class breaks occur at $10,000, $100,000, $250,000, and $500,000.

Farm numbers increased slightly in the $1,000-$9,999 and $500,000 and over sales classes. Higher commodity prices and larger value of sales contributed to changes in the number of farms within these sales classes. Farm numbers increased 0.1 percent, to 1.23 million farms, in the $1,000 – $9,999 sales class. Meanwhile, the number of farms in the $500,000 and over sales class increased by 1.6 percent, to 126,720 farms.

Land in farms increased in the largest sales class while decreasing in all other sales classes. Land operated by farms in the $500,000 & over sales class increased 3.0 percent, to 298.9 million acres. Land operated by farms with $1,000-$9,999 in sales decreased by 0.6 percent, to 105.0 million acres.

The average farm size was unchanged in 2010. However, average farm sizes declined in some of the sales classes partially due to smaller farms moving up to higher sales classes.

This report also contains estimates of farm numbers and land in farms for Puerto Rico. The number of farms with sales of $1,000 or more in Puerto Rico was 10,400 in 2010, unchanged from 2009. Land in farms, at 450,000 acres, is unchanged from the previous year. The average farm size in Puerto Rico in 2010 was estimated at 43 acres.

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