Index: Economy / Subcategory: Business / Measure: Agriculture in Larimer County

Agriculture in Larimer County - Charts

What this chart shows: Market Value of Agricultural Products Sold versus Production Expenses, Larimer County, 1987-2007

Market Value of Agricultural Products Sold versus Production Expenses, Larimer County, 1987-2007

Data Source:

See data table

What these data tell us:

From 1987 to 1997, the average product value increased while production expenses for farms decreased. In 2002, the effects of a prolonged drought substantially decreased yields, creating a deficit for the first time in over a decade of Census measurements. Government subsidies, which supplement farm income, often diminish this deficit. Government payments are received from the Conservation Reserve Program, Wetlands Reserve Program, Commodity Credit Corporation, and other Federal Programs.

The reduction of large scale farming in Larimer County may contribute to the closing gap between production costs and sale revenue. Smaller farms or ''ranchettes', seen earlier as the growing majority of farms in Larimer County (see chart), bring in smaller amounts of revenue than the larger farms that are dwindling in number. It is possible that these farms continue to report high operational costs, keeping the production costs up while the value of sold goods decreases.

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What this chart shows: Farm Operators by Gender, Larimer County, 1987-2007

Farm Operators by Gender, Larimer County, 1987-2007

Data Source:

See data table

What these data tell us:

From 1987 to 2007, the large majority of farms in Larimer County were operated by males (79%). Farm operators are classified by tenure as full, part, or tenant operators, depending on whether the operator only farms owned land, farms on partially owned and partially rented, or operates on completely rented farms (2007 Census of Agriculture). In 2007, 79% of all Larimer County operators were full owners, 15% were partial owners, and 6% were tenant operators. This breakdown was virtually unchanged between 2002 and 2007.

The percent increase from 1987 to 2007 for local male operators was 26%, compared to a 181% increase in female operators. During the same period, the number of Colorado male farm operators increased 26%, while the number of female operators increased 106% (see data). One possibility for the increase in female operators could be the increase in the number of smaller farms in Larimer County. According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, the average size farm for male operators in Larimer County was 277 acres, while the average size farm for female operators was 285 acres. As the trend of smaller farms continues, more females may continue to start up ranchettes, thus increasing the number of female operators in Larimer County.

This trend is somewhat unique to farming. In general business ownership, women-owned businesses increased 20% from 1997 to 2002 (1997 United States Survey of Minority and Women-Owned Businesses).

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Data Tables:

Market Value of Products Sold versus Production Expenses (per farm), Larimer County

1987

1992

1997

2002

2007

Average Market Value of Sold Products

73,146

77,631

77,414

64,640

72,921

Average Farm Production Expenses

65,642

63,167

59,839

66,376

64,653

See chart

Larimer County

1987

1992

1997

2002

2007

% Change

Male

1,100

1,076

1,205

1,198

1,383

26%

Female

133

157

224

366

374

181%

Colorado

1987

1992

1997

2002

2007

% Change

Male

25,372

24,654

25,067

26,152

30,112

15%

Female

1,912

2,498

3,748

5,217

6,942

106%

See chart