Census Reveals Local Impact from Agriculture

KPC News Service

The 2017 Census of Agriculture, released this week, includes county-by-county statistics that reveal the impact of farming in northeast Indiana.

The region’s five counties had 5,068 farms in 2017, with a total of 230 larger than 1,000 acres.

Those farms sold agriculture products worth more than $712 million from DeKalb, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben and Whitley counties.

LaGrange County has the most farms with 2,144, double the number in second-ranked Noble County.

Noble County has the most acreage in farms at just under 200,000, slightly more than LaGrange.

Despite having the fewest farms, Steuben County has the largest average farm size at 255 acres.

Noble County has the most farms of 1,000 acres or more with 57, just barely ahead of Whitley (54) and DeKalb (53).

Whitley County’s farms are the most valuable with an average value of $1.6 million.

However, LaGrange County leads by far in the value of farm land at $9,249 per acre, nearly $3,000 ahead of second-ranked Noble County.

LaGrange also far outpaces its neighbors in the value of agriculture products sold, topping $275 million.

LaGrange County leads in most categories of livestock. With more than 900,000 layer hens and 7.3 million meat-type chickens sold, it dwarfs the numbers in neighboring counties. It also leads in numbers of beef cows and milk cows.

In farms with annual sales of $100,000 or more, LaGrange County’s total was 545, compared to 588 in the other four counties combined.

LaGrange County is not the leader in grain production, however. Noble County produces the most corn with 12.6 million bushels.

DeKalb County leads the region in wheat production with 687,792 bushels, the only category in which it ranks first in the area.

Statistics from the census for local counties:

FARMS — DeKalb 771; LaGrange 2,144; Noble 1,015; Steuben 472; Whitley 696.

FARM ACRES — DeKalb 158,931; LaGrange 195,370; Noble 199,996; Steuben 120,324; Whitley 176,255.

AVERAGE FARM SIZE IN ACRES — DeKalb 206; LaGrange 91; Noble 197; Steuben 255; Whitley 253.

HARVESTED CROPLAND ACRES — DeKalb 128,731; LaGrange 128,860; Noble 163,566; Steuben 91,426; Whitley 148,339.

FARMS OF 500-990 ACRES — DeKalb 26; LaGrange 27; Noble 53; Steuben 29; Whitley 28.

FARMS OF 1,000 OR MORE ACRES — DeKalb 53; LaGrange 37; Noble 57; Steuben 29; Whitley 54.

AVERAGE FARM ESTIMATED MARKET VALUE OF LAND AND BUILDINGS — DeKalb $1,143,430; LaGrange $842,807; Noble $1,259,845; Whitley $1,606,248.

AVERAGE VALUE PER ACRE — DeKalb $5,547; LaGrange $9,249; Noble $6,394; Steuben $5,537; Whitley $6,343.

AVERAGE FARM’S VALUE OF MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT — DeKalb $121,735; LaGrange $75,820; Noble $141,041; Steuben $144,619; Whitley $187,714.

MARKET VALUE OF AGRICULTURE PRODUCTS SOLD — DeKalb $93.8 million; LaGrange $275.6 million; Noble $158.5 million; Steuben $64 million; Whitley $120.9 million.

AVERAGE FARM’S MARKET VALUE OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS SOLD — DeKalb $121,624; LaGrange $128,536; Noble $156,156; Steuben $135,671; Whitley $173,775.

FARMS WITH SALES LESS THAN $2,500 — DeKalb 312; LaGrange 593; Noble 352; Steuben 211; Whitley 244.

FARMS WITH SALES OF $100,000 OR MORE — DeKalb 132; LaGrange 545; Noble 217; Steuben 82; Whitley 157.

NET CASH FARM INCOME — DeKalb $29.8 million; LaGrange $78.2 million; Noble $48.5 million; Steuben $9 million; Whitley $35.9 million.

AVERAGE FARM NET CASH INCOME — DeKalb $38,700; LaGrange $36,481; Noble $47,777; Steuben $19,059; Whitley $51,546.

CATTLE AND CALVES — DeKalb 19,530; LaGrange 58,828; Noble 15,921; Steuben 11,580; Whitley 11,507.

BEEF COWS — DeKalb 1,061; LaGrange 3,162; Noble 2,209; Steuben 980; Whitley 1,119.

MILK COWS — DeKalb 1,808 (10 farms); LaGrange 10,817 (376 farms); Noble 4,535 (51 farms); Steuben 2,785 (11 farms); Whitley 1,465 (13 farms).

HOGS AND PIGS SOLD — DeKalb 2,578; LaGrange 95,789; Noble 134,488; Steuben (n/a); Whitley 168,381.

LAYER HENS — DeKalb 1,262; LaGrange 901,594; Noble 199,171; Steuben 442; Whitley 2,066.

MEAT-TYPE CHICKENS SOLD — DeKalb 682; LaGrange 7,356,936; Noble 1,040,707; Steuben (n/a); Whitley 1,428.

CORN FOR GRAIN (BUSHELS) — DeKalb 6.8 million; LaGrange 7.8 million; Noble 12.6 million; Steuben 6.4 million; Whitley 10.7 million.

WHEAT (BUSHELS) — DeKalb 687,792; LaGrange 75,700; Noble 248,679; Steuben 239,320; Whitley 503,873