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Census of Agriculture Shows More Farms In Marion County

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The 2012 Census of Agriculture has been released and shows Marion County has 1,152 farms.  That's up from 1,077 farms reported in the last Census of Agriculture five years ago.  

The amount of land in farms is also up by about six-thousand acres to 266,828 acres.  The average size of a farm incresed from 255 to 277 acres.  The estimated market value of land and buildings for the average farm was $972,948, up dramatically from $755,440 five years ago.  The average value of land and buildings per acre jumped from $3,121 in the 2007 census to $4,201 in the just released 2012 Census.  

There were 57 farms in Marion County of 1,000 acres or more.  79 farms were between 500 and 999 acres.  128 farms were between 180 to 499 acres.  The largest number of farms were in the 50 to 179 acre size, with 469 reported.  370 fell in the 10 to 49 acre size, while 49 farms were just 1 to 9 acres.  Just 14 farms used irrigation on a total of 232 acres.  

The market value of agriculture products sold in Marion County in 2012 was just under 69-million dollars.  That was down from 78-million dollars five years ago.  The decrease is likely tied to the 2012 drought.  952 farms received a total of 5-million-884-thousand dollars in government payments.  The just over 17-million dollars in farm income averaged $14,841 per farm.  508 of those owning farms indicated it was their primary occupation, while 644 others said it was a secondary job.  

The census shows total cropland at just over 212-thousand acres spread among 900 farms.  207 Marion County farms had a total of 10,115 cattle.  Only eight farms reported having hogs and pigs.  

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