Census of Agriculture 2012

In May 2014, the USDA released data from its 2012 Census of Agriculture. Here is a quick synopsis of the Massachusetts report:

  • Massachusetts has a total of 7,755 farms, which cover 523,517 acres and generated  $492 million in sales in 2012.
  • Direct sales to consumers account for $48 million, an increase of 14% since 2007. More than 2,200 MA farms sell directly to consumers, and Massachusetts ranks 3rd in the nation in the per-farm value of direct market sales.
  • In Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties, there are a total of 2161 farms stewarding 182,428 acres; total acreage in farmland in these three counties grew 8 percent between 2007 and 2012.
  • Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden county farms sold $10,443,000 of agricultural products directly to consumers in 2012.
  • 2,755 MA farms are very small, with sales of less than $1,000.


CISA’s full press release on the Ag Census data release.

Agricultural Census: County farm business booming. The Recorder. May 14, 2014. Richie Davis.

Latest agricultural census shows increase in farms and direct sales of their products, especially in Hampshire County. The Daily Hampshire Gazette. May 14, 2014. Rebecca Everett.

New England Dairy Farms on the Decline, Despite Positive Signs for Regional Agriculture. WAMU. May 19, 2014. Henry Epp.

Direct Sales Boost Massachusetts Farms. WAMC. June 1, 2014. Paul Tuthill.

Guest viewpoint: New Agriculture Census buttresses the case for buying locally. MassLive; The Republican Editorials. June 4, 2014. Philip Korman and Margaret Christie.

Click here to visit the Census of Agriculture website.

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