McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

May 2, 2014

Experts: No big wheat harvest

(Continued)

Crop census

The USDA released its five-year agriculture census Friday. Among the notable statistics, which are current through 2012, is the explosion of canola planting. In Garfield County alone, the number of canola farms increased ten-fold since 2007. In 2012, producers harvested more than 8 million pounds from 6,404 acres.

The trend is apparent statewide. There were only 37 farms producing canola in 2007.

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture commented on the census, which is a massive study looking at nearly every measurable aspect of farming and ranching across the nation.

The state’s takeaway lauded averaged demographics of the Oklahoma farmer, who isn’t aging as fast as other states.

According to the census, Oklahoma farmers’ average age is about 58 years old, the national average.

“However, the age of Oklahoma producers has slowed since 2007; perhaps indicating an increase in young producers returning to the farm,” the state report concludes.

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