FarmLife FIVE Winter 2013

Take this quiz to test your knowledge of current ag-related stats.

By Brigid Galloway

1. Approximately how much did farms and ranches in the U.S. and Canada spend on agricultural production in 2012?
A. $192 billion
B. $292 billion
C. $392 billion
D. $492 billion

Answer: C. Farmers in the U.S. and Canada spent approx. $392 billion on production.

In 2012, U.S. farms and ranches spent a record-high $351.8 billion (USD) to produce $388 billion in goods, according to the USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS.) This marked a 10.4% increase over 2011 expenditures. Crop farms accounted for the lion’s share of the production expenses, coming in at $200 billion.

In Canada, expenses climbed by 6%, topping $40.4 billion (CAD) against total market receipts of $50.1 billion, according to Agriculture and Agri Food Canada forecasts.


2. Farming and technology go hand in hand. Approximately how many farms in the U.S. and Canada have Internet access?
A. 394,000
B. 794,000
C. 1,394,000
D. 1,794,000

Answer: C. In total approximately 1,394,000 farms across the U.S. and Canada reported having Internet access in 2011. That includes 62% of farms in the U.S., according to the USDA’s Farm Computer Usage and Ownership survey, and 44.8% of Canadian farms, per Statistics Canada. Internet access in U.S. increased to 67% for 2012 per the USDA’s recent survey.


3. How does the average-size farm in the U.S. compare to the average-size farm in Canada?
A. U.S. farms are approx. 500 acres larger than Canadian farms.
B. U.S. and Canadian farms are approximately the same size.
C. Canadian farms are approx. 250 acres larger than U.S. farms.
D. Canadian farms are approx. 200 acres smaller than U.S. farms.

Answer: C. On average, Canadian farms are more than 778 acres, per Statistics Canada 2011 survey. The average size farm in the U.S. was 421 acres, according to Farms, Land in Farms and Livestock Operations 2012 Summary published the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).


4. In 2012, what was the change in number of farms in the U.S.?
A. Increased by approx. 10,000
B. Decrease by approx. 11,000
C. Increase by approx. 5,500
D. Decrease by approx. 22,000

Answer: B. In 2012 there were 2.2 million farms in the U.S., according to the Farms, Land in Farms and Livestock Operations 2012 Summary published by the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). This was down 11,630 farms from 2011 or a .5% decrease.

In Canada, the number of farms in operation was 205,730, which was down by 23,643 farms, according to Statistics Canada’s latest census in 2011. That’s a drop of more than 10%.


5. Demand for locally grown produce continues to increase. What was the total estimated annual sales reaped at farmers’ markets in Canada and the U.S. in 2012?
A. $5.5 million
B. $5.5 billion
C. $8.25 million
D. $8.25 billion

Answer: D. The total reported sales at local farmers’ markets topped $8 billion in 2012. Local food sales in the U.S. grew to nearly $7 billion (USD) in 2012, according to the USDA. In Canada, farmer’s markets boasted annual sales of $1.25 billion (CAD), per Farmers’ Market Canada, which estimates that there are about 600 farmers’ markets throughout the country. In the U.S. there were more than 8,144 farmer’s markets listed in the 2012 National Farmers’ Market Directory published by the USDA (,) up from 5,000 in 2008.