Skip to Content

The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

New data: USDA releases 2022 Census of Agriculture data

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) announced the results of the 2022 Census of Agriculture on Feb. 13.

First conducted in 1840 in conjunction with the decennial census and conducted since 1997 by USDA NASS, the federal statistical agency is responsible for producing official data about U.S. agriculture, and the Census of Agriculture remains the most comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation.

The 2022 census report contains more than six million data points which were collected from farmers and ranchers across the U.S.

The information was collected directly from American producers and shows a continued decline in the total number of U.S. farms.

However, the data reported did show a rise in new farm operations, as well as an increase in young producers.

According to the USDA press release, NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer stated, “We are pleased to provide updated Census of Agriculture data to all those who serve U.S. agriculture, especially the producers who gave their time to complete the questionnaire. The Census of Agriculture data tells a story. This comprehensive snapshot every five years helps data users to see trends and shifts in the industry over time and helps producers do business.” 

He continued, “Overall, though there are always changes across U.S. agriculture, the data remain largely consistent with the previous ag census. Data users will also notice some new data on the topics of hemp, precision agriculture and internet access.”

Valuable insight

The 2022 census reported there were 1.9 million farms and ranches, down seven percent from the 2017 census report with an average farm size of 463 acres, up five percent, on 880 million acres of farmland, down two percent, accounting for 39 percent of all U.S. land.

Family-owned and operated farms account for 95 percent of all U.S. farms, and U.S. farms and ranches produced $543 billion in agricultural products, up from $389 billion in 2017.

The report further noted farm production expenses were $424 billion, but U.S. farms had net cash income of $152 billion, the average farm income rose to $79,790, and 43 percent of farms had a positive net cash farm income in 2022.

In 2022, 116,617 farms sold directly to consumers, totaling $3.3 billion of sales, and the value of sales increased 16 percent from 2017.

It was reported 105,384 farms with sales of $1 million or more made up six percent of U.S. farms and 31 percent of farmland, and they sold more than three-fourths of all agricultural products. 

The census report disclosed 1.4 million American farms with sales of $50,000 or less accounted for 74 percent of farms, 25 percent of farmland and two percent of sales.

Nearly three-fourths of farmland was used by farms specializing in two commodity categories – oilseed and grain production, which totals 32 percent and beef cattle production accounts for 40 percent.

Producer data

The average producer age was reported to be 58.1, which is up 0.6 years from the 2017 census report, this is a smaller increase than average age increases between prior censuses.

There were just over one million farmers with 10 or fewer years of experience, an increase in the number of beginning farmers from 2017 of 11 percent.

Beginning farmers are younger than all farmers, with an average age of 47.1, with the number of producers under the age of 35 at 296,480, comprising nine percent of all producers. 

The 221,233 farms with young producers making decisions tend to be larger than average in both acres and sales.

In 2022, 1.2 million female producers accounted for 36 percent of all producers. Fifty-eight percent of all farms had at least one female decision maker.

It was also reported farms with internet access continued to rise from 75 percent in 2017 to 79 percent in 2022.

The response rate for the 2022 Census of Agriculture was 61 percent with more than 40 percent of responses submitted online.

Melissa Anderson is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

Back to top