Monday, April 24, 2017

Time to take the Ag Census


Census of Agriculture Countdown Begins for America’s Farmers and Ranchers

Boise – Idaho farmers and ranchers  have the chance to strongly represent Idaho agriculture and their industry by taking part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture.  
The Census is taken every five years  by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The census survey is mailed out at  the end of this year and  is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them.
The last Idaho survey revealed that the average age of the typical Idaho farmer is 57.6 years, 39,122 are white, 1,113 are latino. There are 2,995 full-time women farmers in Idaho.
"It's important that Idahoans stand up and be counted because the Census of Agriculture remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation," said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “As such, census results are relied upon heavily by those who serve farmers and rural communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, researchers, and farmers and ranchers themselves.”
The Census of Agriculture shows land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures, and other topics. The 2012 Census of Agriculture revealed that over three million farmers operated more than two million farms, spanning over 914 million acres. This was a four percent decrease in the number of U.S. farms from the previous census in 2007. However, agriculture sales, income, and expenses increased between 2007 and 2012. This telling information and thousands of other agriculture statistics are a direct result of responses to the Census of Agriculture.
“Today, when data are so important, there is strength in numbers,” said Hamer. “For farmers and ranchers, participation in the 2017 Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future, and their opportunity to shape American agriculture – its policies, services and assistance programs – for years to come.”
Producers who are new to farming or did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 still have time to sign up to receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture report form by visiting www.agcensus.usda.gov and clicking on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted’ button through June. NASS defines a farm as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year (2017). 

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