The deadline to complete the census is Feb. 6
By Diego Flammini
Ag stakeholders are reminding U.S. farmers to complete the 2022 Census of Agriculture.
Farm operations of all sizes, which either produced or sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural product in 2022 are included in the census.
“Who better to tell the story of American agriculture than the producers themselves?” said Hubert Hamer, administrator of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. “These statistics will directly impact our farming and ranching communities for years to come…”
USDA began sending the census to farmers in November and December. Producers have until Feb. 6 to complete it.
The ag census, completed every five years, helps USDA understand the changes in ag since farmers took the previous census.
“The census is the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agriculture data for every state and every county in the nation,” Angi Considine, survey statistician at the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) northeastern field office, told the Bangor Daily News. “It lets us see what is changing in agriculture and it really influences how decisions are made.”
For the 2022 census, USDA will collect new data points.
These include questions about the use of precision agriculture, hemp production, hair sheep and updates to internet access.
The more information the USDA has, the easier it is for the department and other stakeholders to direct funding where it’s needed.
The data collected “is used when developing formulas for farm bills. It also helps local governments, extension educators, and researchers make informed decisions that directly affect our state’s farm operations, communities, and industries,” Kent Leonhardt, West Virginia’s commissioner of agriculture, told the West Virginia Explorer.
USDA expects to release data from the 2022 Census of Agriculture in 2024.