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Agriculture economy in South Dakota soars


Sioux Falls, SD (KELO-AM) The USDA has released the final 2012 Census of Agriculture results sharing a wide-range of information about what agricultural products were raised in the United States and South Dakota in 2012, and where, how and by whom they were grown. 

 The number of farms in South Dakota during 2012 was 31,989, up 3 percent from the 2007 Census of Agriculture. Land in farms, at 43.3 million acres, was down 1 percent from what was reported five years prior. The average size of farm was 1,352 acres, down 3 percent or 49 acres from 2007.

Market value of production was $10.2 billion, up 55 percent from 2007. The average value per farm was $318,000, compared to $211,000 in 2007. The number of farms with sales of $500,000 or more was 4,810, up from 2,844 in 2007.  During 2012, the average age of the principal operator was 55.9 years compared to 55.7 years in 2007. The number of operators under the age of 34 was 2,889, up 23 percent from 2007, while the number of operators over the age of 65 totaled 8,551, up 4 percent from 2007.