Why is keeping up with farming statistics, metrics, & figures important?
The farming and agricultural industries are full of statistics, metrics, and figures that are available online. Analyzing and understanding this data will help you have a better understanding of where your food comes from and will provide insights into agriculture production in the United States. More so, it will help you make more profitable decisions.
Analyzing farm inputs will help you budget for the future. There are lots of variables that may not be apparent; some of these can be detrimental to a farming operation. Farmers aren’t making the amount of money most people think they would be. Crop and land prices are hitting record highs, along with fuel costs, seed, fertilizer, and chemicals, which all affect any farmer and their income. For each dollar spent on food, the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture highlights that the farmer or rancher will only receive about 8 cents off that dollar. The remaining 92 cents from each dollar goes towards production materials, processing, transportation, wages, etc.
Around 56% of United States farms have at least one female decision-maker as part of the operation, and 36% of the United States farming operations are run by female owners/operators. There is a slow increase in beginning farmers, 75% of the farmers in the United States are not under the classification of beginning farmers. This means that they have been in business for over 10 years. Currently, around 13% of farm operators are of Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino origin. There has been an increase in black operators recently; tallying up to 2% of the farming operators.
Farms & Food Production
Crop production statistics are important to understand and make sure production is matching current and future population needs. Currently, a single farm in the United States feeds around 166 people a year (in the United States and abroad). With the continuous advancements in agricultural technology, farmers have nearly tripled farm outputs in the past 70 years. Population predictions show farmers are going to be faced with the challenge of producing 70% more food than what they currently are.
With over 85% of agricultural products in the United States is produced on family ranches or farms, the country can create a positive agricultural trade balance by exporting more than importing. Continued productive and efficient farms have made an affordable and abundant food supply for our country.
Careers in Agriculture
Employment in agriculture is not limited to only farmers. While the USDA predicts just over 2.5 million jobs are on-farm, this only accounts for 1.4% of all U.S. employment. Jobs within the agriculture and food sector industries make up 10.3% of the country’s employment, a total of 19.7 million jobs.