2012 Ag census: South Dakota farms on rise

SIOUX FALLS, SD, February 20, 2014 – Preliminary data from the 2012 Census of Agriculture shows the average number of farms in South Dakota during 2012 was 31,898, up 3 percent from the 2007 Census of Agriculture, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Land in farms, at 43.2 million acres, remained about the same as that reported five years prior. The size of the average farm was 1,352 acres, down 3 percent or 49 acres from 2007.

During 2012, the average age of the principal operator remained unchanged from 2007’s average age of 56 years. The number of operators under the age of 34 was 2,889, up 23 percent from 2007, while the number of operators over the age of 65 totaled 8,551, up 4 percent from 2007.

These data, along with other state- and national-level data can be found at: