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 Agriculture News

KHRT Agriculture News - 04/11/19

Data from the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) 2017 Census of Agriculture show the number of farms in North Dakota during 2017 was 26,364, down 15 percent...

    FARGO, N.D. - Data from the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) 2017 Census of Agriculture show the number of farms in North Dakota during 2017 was 26,364, down 15 percent from the 2012 Census of Agriculture.

    Land in farms, at 39.3 million acres was up less than 1 percent from that reported five years prior. Land in farms account for 89.1 percent of the total land area in the state compared to 39.8 percent for the U.S. The average size of farm in North Dakota was 1,492 acres, up 18 percent or 224 acres from 2012.

    The total value of agricultural products sold in 2017 was 8.2 billion dollars, down 25 percent from 2012. Of the total value of production, 19 percent originated from livestock with 81 percent from crops. Average net income per farm was 89,122 dollars, down 39 percent from 2012.

    During 2017, the average age of producers was 56.0 years compared to 55.3 years in 2012. The number of young producers, defined as age 35 or less, was 5,214, or 12 percent of all producers. The number of female producers was 12,316, or 29 percent of all producers. For 2017, data were collected from a maximum of four producers per farm, while for 2012 data were collected from a maximum of three producers per farm.

    The Census of Agriculture contains numerous statistics not readily available from other sources. For example, 79 percent of North Dakota farms have Internet access compared to 75 percent for all U.S. farms. Additional information on demographics, decision making, and minor commodity statistics are also available.

    In addition to State and County data publications, additional online resources are available such as a Census Data Query Tool, Agricultural Atlas, and Ag Census Highlights. Additional resources, scheduled to be available in September 2019, include Ag Census Web Maps and Zip Code Tabulations. Ranking and Profile tabulations will be available throughout 2019. All Census data products can be found at


    FARGO, ND (NDSU) - North Dakota cropland value increased nearly 2 percent, according to a January survey the North Dakota Department of Trust Lands Commissioned. An earlier report from a June 2018 U.S. Department of Agriculture survey showed no change in North Dakota cropland values from the previous year.

    "The January survey reflected the impact of very strong yields and federal aid to producers in the form of market facilitation payments to offset the impact of Chinese tariffs on U.S. farm commodities," explains Andrew Swenson, North Dakota State University Extension farm management specialist.

    "In 2018, North Dakota had a record spring wheat yield, and the second and third highest corn and soybean yields, respectively, on record," he says. "Market facilitation payments for the 2018 crop should be about $400 million statewide, primarily on soybean production. There would have been downward pressure on land values in the absence of the extraordinary yields and government assistance to stabilize net farm income."

    Swenson derived regional and state average cropland values and rents from the published results of the Department of Trust Lands' county-level survey.

    The most recent county-level survey indicated that cropland values per acre from January 2018 to January 2019 were the strongest in the east-central region, increasing 13.5 percent (to $2,248), and the northwestern region, increasing 7.2 percent (to $1,189). The north-central and southern Red River Valley regions showed 3.7 and 2.9 percent increases to $1,692 and $4,064, respectively. The average increase was 1.2 percent in the northeastern region (to $1,766).

    Per-acre cropland values decreased 3 percent in the southeast and the northern Red River Valley regions to $2,928 and $2,768, respectively, and decreased about 2 percent in the south-central and southwestern regions, to $1,610 and $1,346, respectively.

    The survey indicated that the average cash rent per acre for cropland increased by about 3.6 percent from January 2018 to January 2019, after a 4.6 percent decline the previous year. On average, rents remain slightly lower than two years earlier.

    The greatest increases in cropland rent, around 10 percent, offset similar declines from the previous year in the south-central region (to $56.80) and the northern Red River Valley region (to $90.40). Increases of about 7 percent more than offset declines of 5 percent from the previous year in the northwest (to $37) and the southern Red River Valley (to $125.90). Per-acre rents were flat to 1 percent higher in the northeast ($56.70) and the east-central regions (to $67.60), and 2 percent higher in the southeast (to $96.70) and the southwestern regions (to $37.80).

    Swenson believes that the land market has shown resiliency in the aftermath of an 11-year period, from 2003 through 2013, during which cropland values averaged an annual increase of 15 percent. So far, land values have experienced a "soft-landing." The state experienced four years (2014 to 2017) of relatively modest declines in land values, despite much lower crop prices.

    "Generally strong yields and modestly lower production costs tempered the decline," Swenson says. "There were enough producers and investors who were willing and able to expand their operations and absorb the available land."

    Very strong yields and government support helped underpin land values during 2018 despite low crop prices, and higher production costs and interest rates.

    "The 2019 crop year looks to provide a challenge to farm profit and land values," Swenson says. "The low crop price scenario is expected to continue, production costs will be higher, and another infusion of government support is not likely.

    "One positive is interest rates," he adds. "After increasing in 2018, the current outlook is stable rates for 2019."



   (Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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