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The Billion Dollar Counties

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January 15th, 2012

Every five years the USDA performs an agricultural census of the farms in the US.  The last census was performed in 2007 with this year being the next census.  We have already seen some of the census forms received by our farm clients.

We were curious how many counties in the US had more than $1 billion in farm sales in 2007.  We accumulated the list as follows:





 Total Value

California   Fresno                3,730,546
California   Tulare                3,335,014
California   Kern                3,204,147
California   Merced                2,330,408
California   Monterey                2,178,470
California   Stanislaus                1,820,564
California   San Joaquin                1,564,354
California   Kings                1,358,410
California   Ventura                1,316,315
California   Imperial                1,290,253
California   San Diego                1,054,182
California   Riverside                1,012,041
Colorado   Weld                1,539,072
Iowa   Sioux                   112,144
North Carolina   Sampson                1,196,332
North Carolina   Duplin                1,176,272
Pennsylvania   Lancaster                1,072,151
Texas   Deaf Smith                1,148,359
Washington   Yakima                1,203,806
Washington   Grant                1,190,191

 As you see, California was the most dominant state with twelve counties exceeding $1 billion in farm sales.  California also had a couple of other counties that were very close to the billion dollar level.

Only two other states had at least two counties (1) North Carolina and (2) Washington. 

Our guess is that this list will easily double in the next census to come out later this year.  Several states had at least two to four counties there were in excess of $750 million of farm sales and with the current high prices,we would guess this will push those counties over the $1 billion mark.

We will keep you posted on how the next census numbers end up.

Paul Neiffer

Paul Neiffer is a certified public accountant and business advisor specializing in income taxation, accounting services, and succession planning for farmers and agribusiness processors. Paul is a partner with CliftonLarsonAllen in Yakima, Washington, as well as a regular speaker at national conferences and contributor at agweb.com. Raised on a farm in central Washington, he has been immersed in the ag industry his entire life, including the last 30 years professionally. In fact, Paul drives combine each summer for his cousins and that is what he considers a vacation. Leave a comment for Paul. If you would like to leave a comment for Paul, follow the link above, however, please make sure to include your email address so that he can reply to your comment (your email address will not automatically show up).

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