Conducted just once every five years, the Census of Agriculture is the largest data collection by the Department of Agriculture. Producers who either did or normally would produce and sell more than $1,000 of agricultural goods need to fill out their survey. USDA NASS Pacific Region regional director Chris Messer explains.
Federal law also requires the information collected in the Census of Agriculture be confidential and not identify a single farm or farming operation.
Date collected in the Census of Agriculture is used for determining how to apply government assistance, rural development needs, and by agribusinesses. The list of producers who USDA sends the questionnaire too culminates from a variety of sources.
While USDA NASS produces more than 400 reports each year, those reports are very specific to a type of commodity or farm. The Census of Agriculture includes all producers to get a complete picture of agriculture across the nation.
The deadline for responding to the 2017 Census of Agriculture is February 5, 2018. For more information or to respond to the Census of Agriculture online, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.