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USDA extends Census of Agriculture deadline

USDA extends Census of Agriculture deadline

There’s no official end date yet, but farmers can respond through the spring

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is giving farmers more time to complete the 2022 Census of Agriculture.

The original due date for the census was Feb. 6, but that has since been changed.

“We have extended the deadline to respond to the Census of Agriculture through the spring,” Kristen Lenhardt, director of public affairs with NASS, told in an email. “We don’t have an official end date yet.”

The reason for the extension is simple.

The more time farmers have to complete the questionnaire, the more comprehensive the data will be upon the information’s release.

“These important data impact everything from farm programs and funding, crop insurance rates, rural development, disaster assistance, and more. These are things that directly impact producers, and better data can lead to better decisions. That’s why we want to give every opportunity for producers to still respond,” Lenhardt said.

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.

USDA has been collecting farm internet access data since at least 2007 but started collecting information about precision ag usage since 2021.

In August 2021, the USDA’s Farm Computer Usage and Ownership report surveyed 15,000 farms nationwide and asked the following question: “In the last 12 months, did this farm or ranch use precision agriculture practices to manage crops or livestock?”

Only 25 percent, or 3,750 farms, indicated this to be accurate.

The highest number of farms using precision ag, based on the survey, ae in North Dakota.

Fifty-four percent of respondents in that state said they’re using precision ag.

USDA expects to release data from the 2022 Census of Agriculture in 2024.

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