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Michigan ag census reveals growth - 45,000+ farms, 36% women farmers
Michigan Ag Connection - 02/21/2024

The recently released 2022 Census of Agriculture paints a vibrant picture of Michigan's farming landscape. With over 45,000 farms, the state boasts 9,472,069 acres of farmland, constituting 26.2% of the total land in Michigan.

Noteworthy is the increase in the average value of land and buildings, now at $5,879 per acre compared to $4,955 in the 2017 survey. Organic sales have also seen growth, reaching $238,713,000, up from $176,069,000, despite a slight decrease in the number of certified organic farms (644 to 605).

The average age of a Michigan farmer is 56.5 years, and around 49% of farmers work full time (200+ days) off the farm. Encouragingly, the national census data indicates a rise in young farmers (aged 34 or less) and beginning farmers (with 10 or fewer years of farming experience).

One standout statistic is the significant representation of women in agriculture, constituting 36% of all farmers. This reflects a positive trend in diversifying the farming community.

Looking ahead, the agricultural weather outlook for late February indicates a 40% to 50% probability of above-normal temperatures and slightly above-normal precipitation. Weather expert Eric Snodgrass notes that March weather, influenced by higher sun angles, may trend milder with increased precipitation.

As Michigan enjoys over 10.5 hours of daylight, gaining two extra minutes of sunlight each day, farmers gear up for the upcoming season. The comprehensive county data from the ag census is set to be released in April, providing a more detailed view of Michigan's agricultural tapestry.

The 2022 Census of Agriculture captures the essence of Michigan's dynamic farming sector, offering valuable insights into land use, values, and the evolving demographics of its farming community. With 36% women farmers, the state's agriculture continues to embrace diversity and resilience.

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