The number of farming operations and the acres of land under farm production in the U.S. peaked in 1935, trending downward since except for a slight uptick from 2012 to 2017. But in south central Idaho, the number of acres in farming is stable and even experienced some growth since the 2007 recession, according to the most recent Census of Agriculture, a survey conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
The Census of Ag is comprehensive across geographies, providing data on the nation, the 50 states and counties within each state. Data is gathered from surveys mailed to farmers and ranchers with thousands of acres and hobby farmers who only sell a couple of steers annually to friends and family.
The Census of Ag provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation. This data is also a ‘go-to’ for those who serve farmers and rural communities including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, and agricultural support companies.
The NASS definition of a farm is any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year. This threshold is unchanged since 1975.