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USDA Welcomes Comments for 2017 Census of Agriculture

By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says it is now inviting feedback to prepare for the 2017 Census of Agriculture. It is conducted once every five years by a branch of the USDA – National Agricultural Statistics Services, which provides an in depth overview of American agriculture, including data from state and county levels.

In particular, the USDA invites suggestions on what changes should be made to improve the 2017 census questionnaire. The USDA argues that starting the planning stages now while the 2012 census results are fresh in peoples’ minds serves as the perfect timing to gather enough input in order to improve on the 2017 questionnaire. The results of the 2012 census were released May 2, 2014.

According to the USDA, any individual person, organization or group can submit suggestions on the questionnaire. These suggestions might include things like adding or deleting certain questions, or commodity topics.

This consultation process is important because there are some agricultural sectors that are looking for data, but it may not be currently covered under the main topic areas. There may also be some sections that agricultural groups find irrelevant. Gaining insight into these issues will help keep agriculture data current and relevant.

Suggestions are being accepted until Aug. 4, 2014. Comments can be completed and submitted online at www.agcensus.usda.gov/Contact_Us/Census_Program_Input_Form/. Written suggestions are also being accepted and they can be mailed to the address below: Census Content Team, Room 6451, 1400 Independence Ave. S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250.

You can the find highlights of the 2012 census here.


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