The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service is preparing for the 2017 Census of Agriculture, which is mailed out to the country’s farmers and ranchers every five years.
Participants will receive the census to fill out by the end of 2017. It is designed to count all of the farms, ranches, and operators across the U.S.
“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.”
Data from the census highlights land use and ownership, as well as production practices, income, and operator characteristics. When the census was last conducted back in 2012, it was revealed that more than three million farmers operate two million farms across the U.S., spanning across 914 million acres. Although this was a drop from the numbers recorded in 2007, sales, income and expenses increased between 2007 and 2012.
“Today, when data are so important, there is strength in numbers,” Hamer continued. “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 on the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.