2017 Ag Census Gives Updated Snapshot of Kentucky and US Corn


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released the results of the 2017 Census of Agriculture. The report includes millions of data points, including number of farms, land in farms, total value of production, demographics and more at the national, state and county levels. 

US Data

Corn is the #2 commodity by value, behind cattle and calves. The 2017 corn crop was valued at $51.2 billion. Other census highlights include: 

  • There are 2.04 million farms and ranches (down 3.2 percent from 2012) with an average size of 441 acres (up 1.6 percent) on 900 million acres (down 1.6 percent).

  • The average age of all producers is 57.5, up 1.2 years from 2012.

  • Average farm income is $43,053. A total of 43.6 percent of farms had positive net cash farm income in 2017.

  • Ninety-six percent of farms and ranches are family owned.

  • A total of 133,176 farms and ranches use renewable energy producing systems, more than double the 57,299 in 2012.

  • There are 321,261 young producers age 35 or less on 240,141 farms. Farms with young producers making decisions tend to be larger than average in both acres and sales.

  • Thirty-six percent of all producers are female, and 56 percent of all farms have at least one female decision maker. Farms with female producers making decisions tend to be smaller than average in both acres and value of production. 

Kentucky Data

  • Corn is the #4 commodity behind poultry, cattle, and soybeans, with the value of 2017 crop sales totaling $825 million.

  • There are 75,966 farms in Kentucky, down 1.5% from 2012.

  • There are 5,760 farms reporting corn production in Kentucky, down 35% from 2012. Of those farms, 689 (12%) grow more than 500 acres, accounting for 68% of total corn acreage.

  • 38,642 corn acres are irrigated, which represents 3.3% of total corn acres. Only 19 farms irrigate all corn acres.

  • 25 Kentucky corn farms grow popcorn on just under 3,000 acres.

USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has made the results available in many formats on their website.