Countdown Begins for the 2017 Census of Agriculture

Every five years the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) completes a Census of Agriculture where farmers and ranchers have the opportunity to represent agriculture in communities all across the United States by participating. The census will be mailed by the end of 2017 and will be counting all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them.

“The Census of Agriculture remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “As such, census results are relied upon heavily by those who serve farmers and rural communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, researchers, and farmers and ranchers themselves.”

The Census of Agriculture highlights land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures, and other topics. The 2012 Census of Agriculture revealed that over three million farmers operated more than two million farms, spanning over 914 million acres. This was a four percent decrease in the number of U.S. farms from the previous census in 2007. However, agriculture sales, income, and expenses increased between 2007 and 2012. This telling information and thousands of other agriculture statistics are a direct result of responses to the Census of Agriculture.

“Today, when data is so important, there is strength in numbers,” said Hamer. “For farmers and ranchers, participation in the 2017 Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future, and their opportunity to shape American agriculture – its policies, services and assistance programs – for years to come.”

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture and to see how census data is used click here

Producers who are new to farming or did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 still have time to sign up to receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture report form by visiting www.agcensus.usda.gov and clicking on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted’ button through June.

About the Author

Contact Toni Scott, principal and grants practice manager, at Morrison or via telephone at 530-893-4764 ext. 205 for more information.

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