The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is set to unveil the eagerly anticipated 2022 Census of Agriculture data on February 13, 2024. The comprehensive agricultural survey, conducted once every five years, reached a significant milestone this summer with a preliminary national return rate of 61 percent.
The survey, distributed to more than three million producers across the United States and Puerto Rico late last year, serves a critical purpose. It is used as a tool for shaping policies, farm and conservation programs, rural development, research, technology advancements, agricultural education, and more over the next several years.
Expressing gratitude on behalf of the USDA, NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer thanked the millions of producers who dedicated their time and effort to complete the survey. He emphasized the real impact the census data will have on producers, their farming operations, and communities nationwide.
The data, essential for informed decision-making, will be available to the public on the official NASS website. All data will be presented in aggregate form only, preventing the identification of individual operations or producers.
NASS’s Census and Survey Division Director, Barbara Rater, highlighted the ongoing efforts to ensure accuracy in the data. Extensive analyses of each response are being conducted, utilizing trusted statistical methods to account for nonresponse, under-coverage, and misclassification, ultimately producing accurate data down to the county level.
Two special studies, the 2023 Census of Aquaculture and the 2023 Irrigation and Water Management Survey, are also underway this fall and winter. These studies will provide more in-depth information on specific industries, and questionnaires have been mailed to producers who reported these activities in the 2022 Census of Agriculture.
The Census of Agriculture stands as the sole source of impartial and comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation. As the release date approaches, anticipation is building among policymakers, researchers, and the agricultural community.
Ag News Director / AgNet West