The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is delaying the Puerto Rico Census of Agriculture until December 2018 due to conditions caused by Hurricane Maria. NASS had planned to collect data in Puerto Rico along with the rest of the United States beginning in December 2017. A delay of the Puerto Rico Census of Agriculture is necessary to allow for continued focus on hurricane recovery and to assure Puerto Rico’s agriculture can be accurately represented with quality data.
NASS is mailing the 2017 Census of Agriculture to 3 million U.S. producers, except those in Puerto Rico, in phases through December. Conducted once every five years, the census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by farmers, ranchers, trade associations, researchers, policymakers, and many others to help make decisions about community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development, and more. Information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture and previous censuses is available at www.agcensus.usda.gov.
Image credit: from USDA/Plantains growing in Gurabo, Puerto Rico, where farmer Duamed Colón is using a legume cover crop (Canavalia ensiformis) to increase organic matter, improve soil health, and reduce erosion and herbicide use. Colón is collaborating with the Caribbean Hub to educate other farmers on sustainable land management practices for climate change adaptation and mitigation through the ADAPTA project.
Photo by Duamed Colón.