The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will end data collection for the 2022 Census of Agriculture on May 31. Producers who have not yet returned their completed questionnaires have just one week left to respond. Federal law requires everyone who received the ag census to complete and return it. Recipients can respond online at agcounts.usda.gov or by mail.
“The Census of Agriculture remains the only comprehensive and impartial source of agricultural data for every state and county in the nation. It gives producers the opportunity to help shape decisions that will impact their operations, communities, and the future of the industry for several years,” said Hubert Hamer, NASS Administrator. “Not being represented in these widely used data means risking being underserved. The ag census data are used by agribusinesses, educators, researchers, federal and local government, and many others when making decisions about farm programs, loans, insurance, rural development, disaster assistance, and more.”
USDA NASS is reminding ag census recipients that if they produced and sold $1,000 or more of agricultural product in 2022, or normally would have produced and sold that much, they meet USDA’s definition of a farm. However, landowners who lease land to producers, those solely involved in conservation programs, and even those who may not have farmed in 2022 are still required to respond.
“If you received the ag census but do not fit the definition of a farm, are no longer farming, never farmed, or have another update for us, please write your status on the form and mail it back. Every response matters,” said Hamer.
The ag census differs from other USDA surveys. Beyond being conducted just once every five years, it provides important demographic information and data on certain commodities, such as horses, bison, and Christmas trees, that would not otherwise be available. The Census of Agriculture collects information on nearly every aspect of American agriculture for a complete picture of the health of the industry. Changes to the 2022 questionnaire include new questions about the use of precision agriculture, hemp production, hair sheep, and updates to Internet access questions.
Federal law under Title 7 USC 2204(g) Public Law 105-113 requires that USDA NASS keep all submissions confidential, use the information for statistical purposes only, and publish aggregate data to prevent disclosing the identity of any individual producer or farm operation.
For assistance filling out the ag census, recipients can call 888-424-7828. NASS will release the ag census data in early 2024. To learn more about the Census of Agriculture, visit nass.usda.gov/AgCensus. On the website, producers and other data users can access frequently asked questions, past ag census data, special study information, and more. For highlights of these and the latest information, follow USDA NASS on Twitter at @usda_nass.