The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is wrapping up data collection for the 2017 Census of Agriculture. To stay on track for data release in February 2019, the deadline for submitting the paper questionnaire is June 15, 2018. Farmers and ranchers who have not responded by June 15, 2018 still have until the end of July to complete the Census online through the secure website found on the cover of their Census form. Phone follow-up and personal interviews will also continue through July.
“The Census of Agriculture provides the only source of comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation,” said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. “These data are used to make important local, state, and national decisions that will have a very real impact on farmers, ranchers, agricultural operations, and rural communities. I encourage producers to respond online or to send in their paper form today.”
Greg Matli, Indiana State Statistician, reminds farmers and ranchers that the questionnaire needs to be completed by everyone who received a form, including landowners who lease land to producers, those involved in conservation programs, even those who may have received the Census and do not farm. Every response matters.
“Our mission at NASS is to provide data in service to U.S. agriculture,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “We extended the original Census deadline because many producers weren’t counted – and if they aren’t represented in these critical data, they risk being underserved in farm programs, disaster assistance, agricultural research, education, local policies, and business; this is why it is imperative that we hear from everyone.”
Federal law, Title 7 USC 2204(g) Public Law 105-113, requires NASS to keep all information confidential, to use the data only for statistical purposes, and to only publish in aggregate form to prevent disclosing the identity of any individual producer or farm operation.
For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture or to respond online, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov. Improved in 2017, the online form is faster and more convenient than ever. For questions about or assistance with filling out the Census, call toll-free (855) 270-2709.