Breaking News

Local News

May 5, 2014

Census shows fewer, larger farms

Number of Cass farms drops 20 percent

Cass County farms are growing fewer and larger, according to census data released Friday.

The 2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture county-level data shows the number of Cass County farms dropped to 688 in 2012 from a total of 868 in 2007. The Census of Agriculture is conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture every five years.

The average size of a Cass County farm grew almost 11 percent to 291 acres, while the median size of a farm, 63 acres, was 26 percent larger than in 2007.

Total farmland acreage in Cass County shrunk, however, by about 12 percent to 200,257 acres.

The data released Friday came as no surprise to Dave Forgey, a longtime Cass County farmer and current president of the Cass County Farm Bureau.

Agriculture has been trending toward larger farms for some time, Forgey said, making it more of a challenge for smaller farms to remain competitive.

“While there are a lot of small farms around, nearly all of those farmers tend to have a second job,” he said. And “it’s getting almost impossible” to begin farming without help from a senior farmer or family member who is getting out of farming, he added.

With skyrocketing land values — the average value of an acre of farmland in 2012 had risen 51 percent since 2007 to $5,412, according to the Census of Agriculture — and a similar rise in cash rents for farm acreage, the odds of starting out as a farmer without first joining an existing entity are getting slimmer, he said.

The average age of farms’ principal operators crept up again as well to 57.3 years old.

Some of the local trends mirror national ones. Coast to coast, the average age of a principal farm operator was 58.3 years, up 1.2 years since 2007, and continuing a 30-year trend of steady increase.

In 2012, the U.S. had 2.1 million farms — down 4.3 percent from the previous Census in 2007. Measuring farm size by acres, the data showed a continuing overall downward trend in mid-sized farms, while the smallest and largest-size farms held steady nationally.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Fatal wreck UPDATE: Monticello woman killed in overnight wreck

    A Monticello woman was killed late Monday night in an automobile accident involving a car and semi-trailer truck in the northbound lane of U.S. 31 near the junction with U.S. 931.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pool sets Sunday at closing date

    The season will close at Tower Park Municipal Pool on Sunday, according to the Logansport Parks & Recreation Department. Final season activities will begin on Friday, including "Floatie Friday." Pool-goers are invited

    July 29, 2014

  • Police investigate possible stabbing

    A woman called 911 late Monday to report she had been stabbed in her Brookston home.

    July 29, 2014

  • Winamac woman dies in crash with county truck A Winamac woman is dead after failing to stop at an intersection and being struck by a Pulaski County Highway Department dump truck. Just before noon on Monday, Dollie Frinkle, 71, Winamac, was driving a 1996 Buick Park Avenue westbound on 100 South

    July 29, 2014

  • Indiana BMV asks court to delay vanity plate sales INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has asked the state Supreme Court for permission to continue its suspension on sales of vanity plates until a court case is settled. The Indiana attorney general's office announced Monday it ha

    July 29, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 29, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 29, 2014

  • SPT - PT072914 Colts-pic [Duplicate] QB Luck making progress ANDERSON — Wind chill estimates put the temperature at 59 degrees Monday morning at Anderson University.During one stretch of his fifth training camp practice of the year, however, it likely felt much colder to Andrew Luck.The Indianapolis Colts quar

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • District's tire collection effort still going strong If you’ve got old tires, the county still wants them.The Cass County Solid Waste District extended the county-wide tire collection program Monday for the next few weeks — or until the new semi-trailer is full at least.District director Bob Ehle has b

    July 29, 2014

  • Permanent road closure has Miami Co. residents worried PERU — Residents who live near a safety-flare company that’s expanding north of Peru spoke out against a proposal to permanently close a section of county road that runs through the company’s facilities.Orion Safety Products, located at 3157 N. 500 W

    July 29, 2014

  • NWS-PT072914 Legal Services3.jpg Church opens nonprofit immigration clinic She’s worried about her oldest daughter, now almost 18, who’s residing with strangers in Honduras.She talks to her daughter almost daily, she said, but the last time she saw her in person was when her daughter was 7 years old.That’s because she’s und

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

     View Results