8 stray Minnesota facts from the new farm census

A healthy corn crop near Plainview, Minnesota, in 2012, the year of the U.S. Census Bureau’s agriculture census released May 2, 2014.  Alex Kolyer for MPR News

Stray Minnesota facts from the 2012 ag census released Friday. For bar bets and trivia games. You can find your own here.

Honey. Polk, in far northwest Minnesota, is the state’s biggest honey-producing county, followed by Pennington, Todd, Morrison and Stearns. Together, those five counties produced a third of the state’s 8.5 million pounds of honey. The state total was down almost 10 percent from five years earlier.

Horses and hobbies. Most tiny farms: Hennepin County contains 134 farms of less than 10 acres, more than any other county. That number is almost double the figure from five years earlier. The county has no farms of 2,000 acres.

Richest farms? Stevens County, where Morris is the seat, generated more market value per farm than anyplace else. The average farm there sold $788,000 worth of farm products. Think bigger than average farms and lots of high-priced corn.

Most valuable farmland. Rock County farmland in the far southwest corner of the state was worth more than $7,000 an acre on average in 2012, more than any other non-metro county. That was more than double its value five years earlier.

Plowing border to border. Two Minnesota counties are 98.8 percent farmland — Mower in the south (Austin) and Renville in the central (Olivia).

Most goats. Goodhue County (Red Wing) was home to 56 goat farms and 2,182 goats. Most were raised for meat, not milk. Stearns County had more goat farms but far fewer goats.

Where women and Latinos are strong. Otter Tail County (Fergus Falls) contained the most farms on which women were the principal operators — 256. It also was home to more Latino farm operators than any other county — 21.

And Asians. Hennepin and Ramsey have the greatest number of Asian farmers.

  • View_From_Here

    Dave Peters. Thank you for the attention to the 2012 Ag census. I was sad to read that over the past 5 years Minnesota lost 8% of its farms– now down to 74,500. I’m rather Jeffersonian in my ideal that having a strong and abundant base of farmer citizens makes our state and nation strong. Here’s hoping that all the attention on beginning farmers helps to reverse that trend.