If you've driven through the state of Indiana, you have probably seen large corn and soybean fields and expansive pastures with cattle. Perhaps you've passed structures like grain bins, equipment sheds or barns for dairy, hogs and poultry. According to the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Indiana has more than 56,000 farming operations, with an average farm size of 264 acres. For comparison, one football field is about 1.32 acres in size, meaning the average farm is about the size of 200 football fields.
Farming is a major part of Indiana's economy, contributing an estimated $31.2 billion. What you might not realize is that 96 percent of Indiana farms are family-owned or operated. Many Indiana farms have been in the family for generations. And while farming is tradition for these families, farmers use cutting-edge technology and modern practices to ensure food is grown in a safe and sustainable way for not only their families, but their communities.
Here are some more stats about farming in Indiana from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture:
- There are just over 94,000 farmers in Indiana.
- More than 31,000 farmers are women, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture.
- There are more than 20.5 million turkeys in Indiana.
- There are more than 4.2 million hogs in Indiana.
- Indiana has an estimated 187,000 dairy cows
- Indiana's farmers cultivated just over 15 million acres of farmland in 2017.
- More than 80 percent of land in Indiana is devoted to farms, forests and woodland.
- Indiana farmers planted 936,000 acres of cover crops in 2017, which is the third highest in the nation. Cover crops are important because they add fertility to the soil, reduce soil compaction and manage soil moisture.
Learn more about the families who grow our food by visiting the Indiana Farm Families page.