What farmers need to know ahead of the next Census of Agriculture

Farmers will begin receiving Census of Agriculture surveys later this year.

Nathanial Warenski is the Indiana state statistician with USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

“We conduct the Census of Agriculture every five years,” he says. “We’ll be conducting it for the year 2022 and we’ll mail it out in December to make sure we get a count of all the agirulcutre that happened (this year). we send it out to all known farmers.”

He tells Brownfield the Census of Agriculture provides a big picture of the agriculture industry.

“It gives us that national picture and it also gives a good picture of what’s going on in each individual state down to the county level,” he says. “…It also allows farmers and ranchers to use this data to make informed decisions about their own farms and ranches.”

Warenski says the survey is open to all farmers and ranchers.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, whether you have a big or small operation or what type of agriculture you’re involved in, whether it’s what we traditionally think of as agriculture or not,” he says. “No matter who you are or what you look like, we need all the responses. What you say does help in the Census of Agriculture. It helps make your voice heard and it helps those looking at the data, researching, and putting together programs to help farmers.”

He says a separate survey – the National Agricultural Classification Survey – is underway now to help identify ag operations in the U.S.

“To make sure that we have a full and accurate list of farmers in the county to get a complete count coming up on the Census of Agriculture,” he says.

If a person receives the survey and isn’t involved in agriculture, Warenski says, “fill out the survey and send it back to us. That helps us to remove them from our list of farmers, so we won’t send the Census of Agriculture to them. If they don’t fill it out, we won’t know if they didn’t fill it out, it got lost in the mail, or they aren’t involved in agriculture. We don’t want to bother people with unnecessary mail or burden, and this will help with that.”

Sign up for the 2022 Ag Census ends June 30. The survey will be mailed out later this year. The response deadline is February 6, 2023.

Click here for more information.

Audio: Nathanial Warenski

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