Agricultural producers have until June 30 to sign up to be able to take part in the 2022 Census of Agriculture. Taken only once every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the census provides a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them.
The Census of Agriculture covers land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures, and more. Census data includes all operations of all sizes – big and small, rural and urban – raising or selling $1,000 or more of agricultural products.
While many farmers and ranchers are not eager to fill out the census nor reveal details about their business, the census does play a major role in how government money is allocated to producers and their rural communities. It is also vital information when it comes to creating farm policy. As the USDA states, “For America’s farmers and ranchers, the Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future, and their opportunity.”
Here is the link to sign up.
The 2022 census will be mailed out in November to those who have signed up, and responses are due February 2023.
The data is expected to be released in the spring or summer of 2024.
“The data compiled by the Ag Census demonstrates the value that agriculture adds to our economy and plays an important role in shaping policy,” said Montana Department of Agriculture Director Christy Clark. “I encourage all of Montana’s farmers and ranchers to make sure that they are signed up, and I look forward to seeing how Montana agriculture has advanced since the last census was released in 2017.”
Nationwide for the 2017 census, there was about a 64 percent response rate.