Extension Ag Update
May/June 2003
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Ag Facts

The world’s appetite for meat continues to grow, with 242 million tons produced in 2002, up 2.5 percent from 2001. Meat production has doubled since 1997 and has increased five-fold over the last half-century. Since the early 1960s, the number of livestock has increased 60 percent, from 3 billion to more than 5 billion, and the number of fowl has quadrupled, from 4 billion to 16 billion.
SOURCE: Here’s the Beef! The World’s Consuming More Meat, Vital Signs Fact of the Week #6, July 2003


Sixty-one percent of farmers are age 55 or older and only eight percent are 35 or younger. Women now make up 23.1 percent of farm operators and managers and 19 percent of farm workers are female.
SOURCE: Chip Petrea, a U of I Extension safety specialist


Farm real estate values, averaging $1,270 per acre as of Jan. 1, 2003, up 5.0 percent from 2001, are a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms nationally.
SOURCE: Agricultural Land Values and Cash Rents Report, July 2003, Agricultural Statistics Service’s

Results from the 2001 Annual NRI on cropland soil erosion show:

• Conservation efforts have reduced soil erosion substantially, from 3.1 billion tons per year in 1982 to 1.8 billion tons per year in 2001.
• Between 1982 and 2001, sheet and rill erosion (the removal of layers of soil from the land surface by the action of rainfall and runoff) dropped from 4.0 tons per acre per year to 2.7 tons per acre per year. Wind erosion dropped from 3.3 tons per acre per year to 2.1 tons per acre per year during the same period.

SOURCE: 2001 National Resources Inventory (NRI), July 2003, Natural Resource Conservation Service