Source: Texas Farm Bureau
Farmers and ranchers in Texas and across the nation will receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture this month.
Farmers and ranchers can mail in their completed census form or respond online via the web questionnaire. Officials said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has extensively revised the online questionnaire to make it more convenient.
The census will be mailed in several phases through December. Farm operations of all sizes that produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural product in 2017 are included in the census. The census is the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every state and county in the nation.
“The Census of Agriculture is USDA’s largest data collection endeavor, providing some of the most widely used statistics in the industry,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “Collected in service to American agriculture since 1840, the census gives every producer the opportunity to be represented so that informed decisions can support their efforts to provide the world with food, fuel, feed, and fiber. Every response matters.”
An estimated 400,000-500,000 farmers and ranchers received an email from NASS in November promoting the improved web application.
New time-saving features of the online questionnaire include automatically calculating totals, skipping sections that do not pertain to the operation and providing drop-down menus of frequent responses.
The census website will be updated with new information through the census response deadline of Feb. 5, 2018.
Revisions and additions to the 2017 census aim to capture a more detailed account of the industry. Farmers will see a new question about military veteran status, expanded questions about food marketing practices and questions about on-farm decision-making to better capture the roles and contributions of beginning farmers, women farmers and others involved in running the business.
Conducted once every five years, the census is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches and those who operate them. It is the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agriculture data for every state and county in the country.
For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.