Friday, December 01, 2017

2017 Census of Agriculture is underway

When farmers get the 2017 Census of Agriculture form this month, and decide to respond online, they will notice some new questions and features.

The online questionnaire has some updated features to help make responding easier, such as automatic calculators and mobile phone accessibility. New questions ask about military-veteran status, additional queries about food-marketing practices, as well as questions about on-farm decision-making that are designed to better capture the roles of beginning farmers, women farmers, and others involved in agriculture.

Farms of all sizes that produced and sold (or normally would have sold) $1,000 or more of agricultural products in 2017 are included in the census, which is the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every state and county in the U.S. It is conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service every five years. The response deadline is Feb. 5. NASS says it will release the results of the census in February 2019.

USDA says the census helps stakeholders like farmers, trade associations, researchers, lawmakers, and others to get a more complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The data are in community planning, farm assistance programs, tech development, advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development and more.

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