Census of Agriculture Deadline is Rapidly Approaching

Census of Agriculture Deadline is Rapidly Approaching

The deadline for filling out and returning the 2023 Census of Agriculture is rapidly approaching. Tony Dorn is chief of the Environmental, Economics, and Demographics Branch at the National Agricultural Statistics Service. He says the deadline is just days away.

“The end date is coming up quickly. The last day to respond is Monday, February 6, and we appreciate all the farmers and ranchers who have responded so far, and we definitely would appreciate it if everyone responded by the due date. Now responses are definitely coming in. We are trying to offer as many different ways for farmers and ranchers to respond as possible, over the mail through the web, and anything else, sometimes personal enumeration. We’re out there and in any way, we’ll gladly try to make it as easy as possible for everybody to respond.”

Dorn says it’s extremely important that farmers and ranchers fill out the census.

“It’s the only comprehensive source of county-level agricultural data, and conducted once every five years. So, it’s not very often that there’s a measure of county-level agricultural activity across the whole United States. So, it’s used extensively, and throughout the years, it’s a historic landmark in what’s happening in agriculture. Since the last five years, a lot has happened in the economy, agriculture, technology, and all the different areas of the world have changed quite a bit. So, it’s a measure of all those changes, really, and the impacts that agriculture has on the world. So it’s very important to measure all that, and it’s very important that farmers and ranchers respond.”

It’s a chance for farmers and ranchers to influence the future of ag policy at all levels of government.

“When farmers and ranchers respond, it’s getting your voice out there as far as how your agricultural activity, how’s it doing, and the fact that it’s at the county level is an indication where local policies, local programs, local Initiatives, and everything that looks at measuring agriculture at the local level looks toward the Census of Agriculture. Because it’s such a rich data set, and because everybody wants to know what’s happening in agriculture and the rural communities and urban agriculture as well so there are so many new trends that happen and everybody looks back at the census to find out what’s happening at the county-level and what’s happening across American.”

He says the agency also keeps farmers’ data safe.

“Every report is, of course, protected by law so that we don’t disclose any individual reports in any manner to any government agency or any private industry. And the one thing about our data is that when we release the census, we release it to everybody equally. There’s no charge, so nobody has to pay or have a payment or any extra access that isn’t available to all the general public, so that’s one great thing about our data and the Census of Agriculture is that it’s a service to the public and available to everybody free of charge. All farmers, large farmers or anybody else who wants to look at agriculture has all access to the same data equally, at the same time.”

For more information, go to nass.usda.gov.