Click here to view the full, 2016 New Mexico Agricultural Statistics Bulletin.
Click here to view the full, 2016 New Mexico Agricultural Statistics Bulletin.
Can YOU capture New Mexico agriculture in a single image?
NMDA sponsors Centennial contest to find cover art for agriculture magazine
(LAS CRUCES) – New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) is sponsoring a contest to find the image most representative of New Mexico agriculture – whether that image is a photo, a drawing, or a painting…and whether it features land, crops, livestock, people, or something else. The winning entry will become the cover of the New Mexico Agriculture Statistics Bulletin that will be published this December and circulated across the state next year.
“The ag stats bulletin is the go-to publication to get a snapshot of New Mexico agriculture,” said Jeff Witte, New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture. “It has important facts and figures about all the things that make up New Mexico’s diverse agricultural landscape.”
Witte noted that includes dairy, cattle and calves, pecans, hay, corn, onions, nursery stock, chile, cotton, wheat, sorghum, potatoes, peanuts, dry beans, poultry and eggs, cottonseed, sheep and lambs, wool and mohair, and hogs and pigs, among other agricultural items.
Every year, NMDA publishes the 70-page bulletin in partnership with the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the USDA agency that compiles the important county-level and state-level data across the country. The publication includes data about agricultural prices, income, and revenues, as well as livestock inventories and values, and crop acreage and values.
The person with the winning entry will receive an enlarged, framed copy of the cover featuring their art, as well as a gift basket of New Mexico food products and special NEW MEXICO-Taste the Tradition®/Grown with Tradition® merchandise.
Questionnaires to be mailed in December
(Las Cruces, New Mexico) – New Mexico farmers and ranchers should be on the lookout for a Census of Agriculture questionnaire in the mail in December. Farmers and ranchers across the country will soon have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their communities and industry by taking part in the census.
For a simpler, faster and more efficient process, producers are encouraged to complete the online questionnaire at www.agcensus.usda.gov upon receiving their questionnaire. In order to complete the online version, each person will need his or her unique 17-digit code, which may be found on the questionnaire.
Conducted every five years by United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census captures a complete count of all U.S. farms and ranches and those who operate them. Even the smallest plots of land and those raising only a few animals during the census year are counted.
New Mexico State Statistician Longino Bustillos said the census remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every county in the nation.
“It’s a critical tool that gives farmers a voice to influence decisions that will shape the future of their community, industry and operation,” Bustillos said.
The census highlights land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income, expenditures and other topics. The information gathered by the Census of Agriculture guides Congress, agribusiness, policymakers, researchers, local governments and many others on the creation and funding of agricultural programs and services – decisions that can directly impact local operations and the future of the agriculture industry for years to come.
New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte encourages all New Mexico producers to respond.
“We only have this opportunity every five years, so please complete the census and take pride in what we do in New Mexico,” Witte said. “The results of the census truly show the impact of agriculture in our state.”
This year, NASS will collect new information, including data on active duty and military veteran farmers, as well as expanded questions about food marketing practices.
In 2012, New Mexico reported a total of 24,721 farms and ranches, spanning more than 43 million acres. This showed an 18 percent increase from the previous census in 2007. Although the state’s average age of farmers and ranchers climbed to over 60 (second highest in the country), New Mexico data showed an increase in young farmers and ranchers. This telling information and thousands of additional farm and ranch statistics are only available every five years, as a direct result of responses to the census.
Census of Agriculture responses must be submitted by Feb. 5.
“Your answers to the census impact farm programs and rural services that support your community,” Bustillos said. “So please do your part, and be counted when you receive your form, because there’s strength in numbers that only the census can reveal.”
For more information about the census, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call 1-888-4AG-STAT (1-888-424-7828). The Census of Agriculture is Your Voice, Your Future, Your Opportunity.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 2, 2014
Media contact: Longino Bustillos
New Mexico State Statistician
USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service
Media contact: Katie Goetz
Public Information Officer
New Mexico Department of Agriculture
USDA data released today completes picture first seen in February
(LAS CRUCES, N.M.) – Even as the drought wears on, New Mexico’s agricultural community is diversifying in terms of the kinds of products it grows and in the way it sells its products, according to new federal data released today.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) revealed in the final results of the 2012 Agriculture Census that, in New Mexico:
USDA’s last Agriculture Census was conducted in 2007.
“The Census of Agriculture provides a wide range of demographic, economic, land, and crop and livestock production information that are only available every five years,” said New Mexico Statistician Longino Bustillos, whose NASS office in Las Cruces oversees outreach efforts, as well as data collection and interpretation, related to the Agriculture Census in New Mexico.
USDA defines a farm as “as any place that produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural products during the Census year.” In other words, USDA’s definition of “farms” includes farms, ranches, and other businesses selling agricultural products.
As expected, the 397 pages of New Mexico-specific data also bear the mark of the ongoing drought. That fact was most noticeable in the 2012 inventories of beef and dairy cattle as compared to the 2007 inventories, as well as in the increased farm expenses such as livestock feed and farm inputs. As a further reflection of the drought – and of increased Census participation among small farms – the average net cash income per farm dropped from $17,558 in 2007 to $9,501 in 2012.
Taken together, these data highlights suggest that farmers and ranchers are looking for ways to maximize their returns on less water by selling higher-value crops via a wider variety of channels.
“While these are challenging times in agriculture, it’s really interesting to see the shift in dynamic. New Mexico producers are resilient and resourceful,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte.
Other highlights include that 97 percent of the state’s farms are family-owned. On a national level, Dona Ana County ranks as the top county in pecan acreage; New Mexico ranks third behind only Texas and Georgia in pecan acreage per state. Dona Ana, Luna, and Sierra rank in the top five counties in the nation in chile acreage.
The final Census results released today add detail to the portrait first outlined by preliminary data released in February. Those results showed an increase in the number of farms, young farmers, minority farmers rising in New Mexico – news that was widely trumpeted across the state and the country.
Agriculture organizations and agencies are looking to build on the trend of increasing diversity by hosting a conference this month for beginning and future farmers, ranchers, and those looking to carve out other careers in agriculture.
Conducted since 1840, the Census of Agriculture accounts for all U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. The data help farmers, ranchers, policymakers, agribusiness and a host of others make decisions for the future.
For more information about the Census, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov. Click here for more information about and to register for the 2014 AgriFuture Educational Institute happening in Albuquerque, May 12-14.
AgriFuture to be hosted in Albuquerque, May 12-14
(ALBUQUERQUE) – Agricultural organizations and agencies in New Mexico are looking to expand upon an exciting new trend: more young people are taking up farming, ranching, and other careers in agricultural production in the Land of Enchantment.
New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) and a dozen other agencies and organizations involved in New Mexico agriculture are coordinating and hosting the 2014 AgriFuture Educational Institute for beginning/future farmers and ranchers, as well as those aiming for other careers in agriculture. The institute will be hosted May 12-14 in Albuquerque.
“The goal of the AgriFuture Educational Institute is to inform, inspire, and connect the people who will produce our food and fiber going forward,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte. “And how the Institute aims to achieve that lofty goal is by bringing together future ag producers and current ag producers, and really facilitating a conversation among that diverse group.”
According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture released by USDA last month, New Mexico saw an increase in the number of people age 34 and younger who are agricultural producers, from 818 in 2007 to 1,200 in 2012. At the same time, the census showed a slight uptick in the average age of farmers in New Mexico from 59.6 years old in 2007 to 60.5 years old in 2012.
“Taken together, what those two statistics tell us is that we’re headed in the right direction in terms of getting more young people into agriculture, but that we still have work to do,” Witte said.
Access to land and capital are often said to be the major roadblocks for young people who want to join the ranks of today’s farmers and ranchers. Witte said that topic will be one of many addressed in the breakout session piece of the institute. Then attendees will board several buses to take private tours of a wide variety of agricultural businesses in and around Albuquerque.
“New Mexico depends on agriculture, and thus we depend on future generations getting involved with the entire spectrum of agriculture from farming and ranching to banking to teaching to communications and much, much more,” said Caren Cowan, executive director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association, one of the institute’s organizers and sponsors. “[AgriFuture] hopes to expose young people to the wide range of possibilities.”
The institute is open to future agricultural producers age 40 and under; veterans are encouraged to attend. It is also open to current agricultural producers of all ages in hopes that they will serve as mentors going forward. Witte said the idea of community is critical in agriculture, because people often develop their best practices on the farm or ranch by talking with others rather than by, say, reading a handbook.
The registration fee for future agriculture producers is only $50 for the Institute, while the fee for current agriculture producers (those who can potentially mentor beginning farmers and ranchers) is only $100. Institute activities are also being funded in part by such sponsors as Farm Credit of New Mexico, which is also helping organize the institute.
“Farm Credit of New Mexico is passionate about youth and their development in agriculture,” said Al Porter, president and CEO of Farm Credit of New Mexico. “This conference is a great way for us to all work together to make sure future agriculturists are prepared to enhance rural New Mexico.”
In addition to NMDA, Cattle Growers’, and Farm Credit, institute organizers include Ag New Mexico Farm Credit; New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau; New Mexico Beef Council; Dairy Producers of New Mexico; New Mexico Wool Growers, Inc.; New Mexico Soil and Water Conservation Districts; New Mexico State University-Cooperative Extension Service; USDA-Farm Service Agency’s New Mexico office; USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service’s New Mexico office; and USDA-Rural Development’s New Mexico office.
The institute agenda and registration are available at our homepage. People can also join the Facebook event page to stay tuned for institute updates and connect with other attendees. If you wish to help sponsor the institute in any amount, you are asked to call NMDA at 575-646-3702.