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
• 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