National Ag Week was recently celebrated from March 4-10. National Ag Day was celebrated March 8. Following are some interesting statistics about today's agriculture industry compiled by Kent Theisse, farm business management specialist at MinnStar Bank in Lake Crystal.
By comparison, it takes consumers about 100 days of earned income to pay all Federal, State, and local taxes each year, and over 50 days of income to cover health insurance and medical costs.
Bacon - $.89/lb. ($5.89/lb.); Sirloin Steak - $2.03/lb. ($8.49/lb.); Boneless Ham - $.89/lb. ($3.99/lb.); Milk - $1.54/gal ($4.39/gal.); Eggs - $.84/doz. ($3.59/doz.); Breakfast Cereal - $.09/box ($4.69/box); Potatoes - $.53/five lbs. ($4.39/five lbs.); Tomatoes - $.27/lb. ($3.28/lb.).
The Minnesota Agriculture Industry generated approximately $15.1 billion in farm income and over $5 billion in farm exports in 2010.
Nearly one in five jobs in Minnesota is linked to the agriculture industry. Minnesota ranks in the top ten States in the U.S. in corn, soybean, pork, dairy, and turkey production.
The soil erosion rate in the U.S. has declined by over 40 percent in the past 20 years. Today, conservation tillage methods are utilized on over 72 million acres of crop acres in the U.S., contour farming practices are used on approximately 26 million acres, and over 1.3 million acres of waterways are maintained by U.S. farmers.
Fresh beef sold at the retail meat counter in the U.S. has 25-30 percent less fat content than 20 years ago.
Today, the average pork tenderloin only has about one gram more fat content than a skinless chicken breast, which is considered among the leanest of meat products.
Today's modern combines, harvest over 900 bushels of corn per hour, or 100 bushels every seven minutes. By comparison, in the 1930's, before modernized harvesting equipment, a farmer would harvest approximately 100 bushels of corn in a nine hour day.
Please celebrate and enjoy National Ag Week, and thank a farmer for the abundant supply of safe and affordable food that they provide for all of us !