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Census of Ag highlights Illinois agriculture’s diversity

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Data from the 2022 Census of Agriculture highlights the diversity of Illinois agriculture.  

Mark Schleusener, Illinois state statistician with USDA, says the state has some bragging rights…

“Illinois is the number one state for soybean acres.”  He says, “We’ve got more than 33,000 growers growing soybeans in Illinois and for pumpkins, we’re also number one. It’s more than 600 farms growing nearly 19,000 acres. Horseradish is also a number one in Illinois.”

He tells Brownfield there’s also been a significant increase in cover cropping…

“Illinois cover crop acres – 881,000, and that’s up 24% from five years previously,” he says, “and I think that’s really considered to be a success in terms of preserving the soil, preserving the nutrients in the soil.”

Schleusener says the age of Illinois farmers has been increasing…

“The average age of farmers in Illinois is 58.6 years old.”  He says, “Five years ago when we measured that was 58.  It’s also a trend I think that you would see across the United States.”

The Census of Agriculture takes place every five years to measure all U.S.

Census of Ag highlights Illinois agriculture’s diversity