Agriculture

February 27, 2015

AGRICULTURE OFFICES
Purdue Extension Service, Wells County Community Center, 1240S 4-H Road, P.O. Box 607, Bluffton, Indiana 46714. Phone  824-6412; Fax 260-824-4891. Home Page:  www.ces.purdue.edu/wells/
Director Roger Sherer, extension educator 4-H Youth Development, William Horan extension educator agriculture and natural resources and economic community development, and Molly Hoag, extension educator health and human sciences. Linda Bushee and Jenni Hoover secretaries. Rex Meyer, Community Center and 4-H Park marketing director.
Farm Service Agency (FSA) (formerly U.S. Agricultural Stabilization & Conservation), 115 Harvest Road, Bluffton, 824-1930.
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) (formerly USDA  Soil Conservation Service SCS) and Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) share office at 115 Harvest Road, Bluffton, 824-0624.

STATISTICS/ INFORMATION
Wells County has a population of 27,814 by the official census in 2013, ranking it as the 57th most populous county in the state. The county has 636 farms by the 2012 Census of Agriculture (the most recent year for which statistics are available) was 35th in the state. The average farm size was listed as 315 acres (30th in the state).  Land in farms in Wells totaled 200,334 acres, 26th in Indiana. Cropland was 189,036 acres, 22nd in Indiana. Harvested cropland was 186,674 acres, 21st in Indiana. Pastureland of all types was 1,224 acres, which was dead last in the state in state of 92 counties. Woodland was 5,139 acres, which is 73rd in the state.
2011 (the most recent year for which statistics are available) cash receipts were $165,337,000 (28th in state), with crop receipts $112,660,000 (31st in state) and livestock receipts $52,677,000 (21st in state).
Government payments came to $4,203,000, 32nd among 92 counties. Imputed income/rent received was listed at $4,812,000 which was 41st highest in Indiana.
2011 Total Income for Wells farms was $174,352,000 (28th in state); Less expenses of $138,298,000 (25th in state), leaving a Realized Net Income of $36,054,000 (48th in Indiana)
Following a devastating drought in 2012, crop yields rebounded in 2013. Corn yields especially rebounded dramatically. Soybeans appeared headed for spectacular yields in the county until a mid-August dry spell moderated development of the plants, making the yields only slightly above average. Wheat, which did well in 2012 despite the drought — because much of the plants’ development occurred prior to the drought — really excelled in 2013. The year was also good for farmers as commodity prices were high because of low supplies created by the 2012 drought.
2013 Crop Statistics were:
CORN: Nothing was reported for the year to the United States department of Agriculture National Agriculture Statistics Service. Estimates of the average corn yield for 2013 by the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service were 180 bushels an acre.
SOYBEANS: 92,00 acres planted, 91,900 acres harvested; yield 56.5 bushels per acre, total production  5,188,000 bushels for 7th place in Indiana.
WHEAT: 6,200 acres planted, 5,760 acres harvested; yield 71.3 bushels per acre, total production 404,000 bushels for 16th highest ranking in Indiana.
POPCORN: 956 acres harvested. There were no comparison statistics were available.
Livestock Statistics:
CATTLE: January 2013: All cattle, 6,800 head (44th in Indiana); Beef cows, 500 head (68th in Indiana); Milk cows, 2,800 head (14th in Indiana).
HOGS: 103,160; 12th in Indiana (An increase of 129 percent from 2007.)
SHEEP: 165.
CHICKENS: 352,378; 4th in state (2012 statistic)
TURKEYS: No statistics available.

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