Officially the deadline to file the latest Census of Agriculture documents — whether online or through the mail — has passed. Of course, if you haven’t filed, the USDA isn’t going to let you off the hook, no matter how you feel about the process.
In a statement, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service wanted to remind farmers and ranchers that there’s still time to be counted. The NASS will continue to accept Census information through the spring to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture that represents all farmers and ranchers.
“We thank everyone who has completed their Census to date. We currently have a return rate of just over 40 percent of the 3 million Census questionnaires mailed last fall,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “A lot is at stake if producers are not represented in this data. Census data have and will continue to influence important decisions for American agriculture. The data will affect every operation and every farming community at some point, whether it be through farm policy, disaster relief, insurance or loan programs, infrastructure improvements, or agribusiness setup. There is accuracy and strength in numbers, which is why NASS is committed to giving producers every opportunity to respond.”
Federal law mandates that everyone who received the 2017 Census of Agriculture questionnaire complete it and return it even if not currently farming. NASS will continue to follow up with producers through the spring with mailings, phone calls, and personal visits.
For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov. For questions or assistance filling out the Census, call toll-free (888) 424-7828.