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Farmers to see return on investment with 2007 Census of Agriculture

Results released Feb. 4

South Dakota

A record number of farmers invested in their future by participating in the 2007 Census of Agriculture. They will see a return on that investment when Census results are released Feb. 4 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service.

"The information provided from the Census is really the voice of our nation's farmers and ranchers," said Carter Anderson, Director of the South Dakota Field Office. "Operators took the time to tell us about what is happening in agriculture on a local and national level. That voice will be heard by policymakers and other agricultural stakeholders now and in the years ahead."

The 2007 Ag Census shows the number of farms and ranches in South Dakota totaled 31,169, down 2 percent (567 farms) from 2002. The average size farm in South Dakota was 1,401 acres, up from 1,380 acres in 2002. The average age of a South Dakota farm or ranch operator was 55.7 years old in 2007, up from 53.3 years in 2002. The market value of agricultural products sold in 2007 was $6.57 billion dollars compared to $3.83 billion in 2002. This 71 percent increase in value over 2002 was due to severe drought reduced production in 2002, along with higher commodity prices in 2007.

All census data is available online at: www.agcensus.usda.gov/. For help accessing the data call the South Dakota field office at 800-338-2557.

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