The Census of Agriculture data has been collected and will be released within the next few months. Shortly after the release, the 2018 Irrigation and Water Management Survey will begin. The survey typically provides a more accurate picture of agricultural water use, which often highlights the stewardship characteristics of American farmers.
“There’s a general notion that maybe the ag sector is a heavy user of water, and there’s no mistaking that that’s the case,” said Donald Bias, Chief of Census Planning for the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. “This information that we’re going to gather and ultimately release, it will give a better sort of understanding of farmers being good stewards of their land.”
The information collected takes into account the amount of water and how it is used, and also records the amount of technological advancements in irrigation methods have been adopted by farmers. “They’re not out there throwing water out just because they want to increase yields, they’re really capturing different technology to be more precise about how they use that water,” Bias said.