The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that the process for the 2022 Census of Agriculture will begin soon. Farmers and ranchers will begin receiving invitations to respond online in November. Paper questionnaires will be distributed in December. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will be administering the census to millions of agricultural producers across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
“Census of Agriculture data are widely used by federal and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, and many others to inform decisions about policy and farm programs and services that aid producers and rural communities,” NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer said in a press release. “By responding to the Census of Agriculture – by being represented in these important data – producers are literally helping to shape their futures.”
The process of collecting American agricultural production data has been taking place since 1840. NASS now conducts the Census of Agriculture every five years. The aggregation of data helps to tell the story of American agriculture and details its value. Things like producer characteristics, land use and ownership, income and expenditures, and production practices are all highlighted in the census. Information is collected from farming operations of all sizes. Both rural and urban producers are involved in the process. Data is collected from all operations that produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural product in 2022.
In adjusting to the current agricultural landscape, NASS works to continually update the questionnaire with revisions reflecting emerging trends in the industry. Since the last ag census year, questions pertaining to the use of precision agriculture and hemp production have been added. Updates to internet questions have also been added, along with questions pertaining to hair sheep. More information about the 2022 Census of Agriculture and previous census data is available online, or by calling 800-727-9540.