The United States has slowed down farmland lost rate from 2007 to 2012, according to a five-year survey released on Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The preliminary 2012 Census of Agriculture report released at the 90th agricultural outlook forum included selected data for farmers, ranchers, and their operations for each state and the whole nation from 2007 to 2012.
Since 1982, 72 million acres of farmland has been lost in this country to other uses, said Tom Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary at the agriculture outlook forum, when he talked about his understanding of the newly released census.
The census showed the rate of farmland lost has been slowed down compared with 1980s and 1990s, said Vilsack.
He also find U.S. farmers kept the trend of getting older as the last 20 to 30 years and quite a large number of farmers are over 65, which has increased risks to U.S. future agriculture safety.
In 2012, the farmers aged 65 to 74 have reached over 440 thousand and those of 75 years and upward have rose to over 250 thousand. The average age of U.S. farmers has increased from 57.1 in 2007 to 58.3 in 2012, said the census.
Vilsack said the way to solve this problem is to attract more young people to join in farm business and he was delighted to see from 2007 to 2012 the number of young people under 35 that join into farm business has increased slightly.
According to the census, 119865 young people under 35 have worked for agriculture sector in 2012, 1252 more than the level in 2007.