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Ohio farm numbers up three percent in census

The 2017 Census of Agriculture shows nearly 78,000 farms in Ohio, up three percent from the last census in 2012.

Ohio State Statistician Cheryl Turner says small farms saw the biggest increase.

“The number of farms where it really increased is the 1-9-acres and the 10-49 acres- the small farms in the ag urban areas with sales under $10,000,” she says.

Audio: Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician

Turner says the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service did a good job of locating small producers in the latest census.

“A lot of them were up in the northeast area which is more urban actually,” she says. “I think we had good cooperation with our small producers, and I think we did a fantastic job finding them.”

Ohio Department of Agriculture Dorothy Pelanda says the census highlights how strong the state’s ag industry is.

“Food and agriculture remains the number one industry in Ohio for one reason- farmers continue to be innovative and continue to look for ways to diversify farming so they can continue farming for generations to come,” she says.

Audio: Dorothy Pelanda, Ohio Department of Agriculture

She tells Brownfield the number of women farmers is on the rise.

“Female producers are up 37.7 percent since 2012- that is very exciting,” she says.

And according to the census, Ohio is ranked second nationally in layer inventory, eighth in corn production, seventh in soybean production, eighth in hogs sold, and eleventh in milk sales.

Ohio also ranked fifth among states with renewable energy producing systems. Nearly 6,000 farms in Ohio reported renewable energy producing systems, up from 2,000 in 2012.  

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