There’s still time to respond to the Census of Agriculture

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Farm Forum

DES MOINES – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reminds Iowa farmers that they still have time to complete their 2017 Census of Agriculture form if they have not already done so. Conducted once every five years, the census aims contact every producer to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture.

Iowa is considered an agricultural leader, ranking as the top producer of several commodities. There is another agricultural title the state is currently holding – the highest response from farmers on the 2017 Census of Agriculture. As of February 22, just over 50 percent of Iowa farmers had returned their questionnaires. This is the highest response rate of any State although response from Illinois producers is close behind and challenging to take over the top spot.

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Deputy Secretary Mike Naig also reminds farmers to return their census form. “Thank you to all the Iowa farmers who have completed their Census of Agriculture,” said Naig. “We want to maintain the top spot for responses but more importantly we need every producer to complete their questionnaire to accurately reflect what is actually happening on our state’s farms.”

While the initial deadline passed earlier this month, NASS is still accepting questionnaires. In the coming weeks, farmers who have not responded will receive a follow-up phone call or reminder mailing.

“The Census data is used by policy makers to make decisions about farm policies and budget allocations that will impact our farms and rural communities. The Census is a chance for farmers to make sure decision makers have the best information possible about what is happening on our farms when making those decisions,” Naig added.

The Census is the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every state and county in the nation. Producers are required by law to respond; NASS is required by the same federal law to keep all information confidential, use the data only for statistical purposes, and only publish in aggregate form to prevent disclosing the identity of any individual producer or farm operation.

Farmers can respond online at www.agcounts.usda.gov or by mail. For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call (800) 727-9540.