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Census: Grains, Oilseeds, Dry Beans and Peas Top Michigan Crops
Michigan Ag Connection - 04/12/2019

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the final 2017 Census of Agriculture results sharing a wide-range of information about what agricultural products were raised in the United States in 2017, and where, how and by whom they were grown. The data, which are reported at the national, state and county level, will help farmers, ranchers, local officials, agribusiness and others make decisions for the future.

The 2017 Census of Agriculture provides a wide range of demographic, economic, land, and crop and livestock production information. Many of these data about Michigan and our counties are only collected and reported as part of the every-five-year census.

The 2017 Census of Agriculture data show the following key findings for Michigan:

- Van Buren and Ottawa Counties were first and second, respectively, among the Nation's top blueberry counties in terms of acreage.

- Lenawee County had the largest number of farms in Michigan, at 1,361. Sanilac County was second with 1,315 farms.

- Huron County had the largest total value of agricultural production sold in Michigan, at $611 million. Allegan was second with $584 million. Ottawa, Ionia and Sanilac rounded out the top five.

- Grains, oilseeds, dry beans and dry peas accounted for the largest value of agricultural products sold in Michigan in 2017, at $2.61 billion. Milk from cows was second with $1.79 billion.

- The average age of Michigan producers was 56.6 years, up from 55.5 years in 2012.

- The number of layers on Michigan farms totaled 15.1 million, up 19 percent from 2012.

- The number of farms with milk cows totaled 2,158, down 251, while milk cow inventory, at 442,032, was up 17 percent from 2012.

Results are available in many online formats including video presentations, a new data query interface, maps, and traditional data tables. To address questions about the 2017 Census of Agriculture data, @USDA_NASS will host a live Twitter "Ask the Census Experts" #StatChat on April 12 at 1 p.m. ET. All Census of Agriculture information is available at

The Census tells the story of American agriculture and is an important part of our history. First conducted in 1840 in conjunction with the decennial Census, the Census of Agriculture accounts for all U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. After 1920, the Census happened every four to five years. By 1982, it was regularly conducted once every five years. Today, NASS sends questionnaires to nearly 3 million potential U.S. farms and ranches. Nearly 25 percent of those who responded did so online. Conducted since 1997 by USDA NASS -- the federal statistical agency responsible for producing official data about U.S. agriculture -- it remains the only source of comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation and is invaluable for planning the future.

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