Census of Agriculture response deadline one week away

Staff Reports Posted 29 January 2018 at 6:15 pm

Orleans had 13th most ag revenue out of 62 counties last time in Census

Photo by Tom Rivers: Onions grow on the muck, which covers about 5,000 acres in Orleans and Genesee counties.

WASHINGTON – Farmers have a week to respond to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture.

Every five years the National Agricultural Statistics Service does the Census of Agriculture. Producers should respond online at www.agcounts.usda.gov or by mail by February 5. The online questionnaire offers new timesaving features.

The Census of Agriculture is the only NASS questionnaire mailed to every producer across the country. The Census provides a complete account of the industry, its changes, and emerging trends. Census data are widely used, often relied on when developing the Farm Bill and other farm policy, and when making decisions about disaster relief, community planning, technology development, and more.

“We are asking producers to help show our nation the value and importance of American agriculture,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “We need to hear from all of our farmers and ranchers, no matter how big or how small their part of agriculture. The Census is their voice, their future, their opportunity. Please respond now.”

The 2012 Census of Agriculture showed a big jump in farm revenue in Orleans County. The revenue from farms totaled $150.3 million in 2012 for sales of fruit, vegetables, milk, livestock and other farm products, a 48.8 percent jump from the $101.0 million recorded in 2007, according to the Agricultural Census.

Orleans ranked 13th of the 62 counties in New York for farm revenue. Wyoming County claimed the top spot in the state at $318.5 million in 2012.

State-wide, the numbers increased 24.9 percent to $5.52 billion in 2012.  That was up by $1.1 billion from the $4.42 billion in 2007.

Everyone who received the 2017 Census of Agriculture questionnaire is to return it, even if they are not currently farming, NASS said. The first few qualifying questions on the form will determine whether completing the entire questionnaire is necessary.

After the Feb. 5 deadline, NASS will begin following-up with additional mailings, e-mails, phone calls, and personal appointments. To avoid these additional contacts, farmers and ranchers are asked to complete their Census as soon as possible.

“It is important that every producer respond to the Census of Agriculture so that they are represented and reflected in the data,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “These statistics can directly impact producers for years. Without their input, our hardworking farmers and ranchers risk being underserved.”

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov. For questions or assistance with the Census, call toll-free (888) 424-7828.

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