Farmers can expect to receive the census this fall
By Diego Flammini
It’s ag census time in the United States.
American farmers will begin receiving 2022 Census of Agriculture information this fall, beginning with an invitation to respond online in November and the paper questionnaire in December.
Farm operations of all sizes, which either produced or sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural product in 2022 will be included in the census.
Participating in the census provides governments and other entities with data they use to help farmers thrive, said Hubert Hamer, administrator of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
“Census of Agriculture data are widely used by federal and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, and many others to inform decisions about policy and farm programs and services that aid producers and rural communities,” Hamer said in a statement. “By responding to the Census of Agriculture – by being represented in these important data – producers are literally helping to shape their futures.”
For 2022, the census will collect new points of data.
These include questions about the use of precision agriculture, hemp production, hair sheep and updates to internet access.
USDA has been collecting farm internet access data since at least 2007 but started collecting information about precision ag usage last year.
In August 2021, the USDA’s Farm Computer Usage and Ownership report surveyed 15,000 farms nationwide and asked the following question: “In the last 12 months, did this farm or ranch use precision agriculture practices to manage crops or livestock?”
Only 25 percent, or 3,750 farms, indicated this to be accurate.
The highest number of farms using precision ag, based on the survey, ae in North Dakota.
Fifty-four percent of respondents in that state said they’re using precision ag.
West Virginia, with 7 percent of surveyed farms indicating using precision ag, was the lowest in the survey.
That same survey found 82 percent of farmers who participated had internet access.
This was up from 75 percent in 2019.
Once the 2022 census is mailed out, farmers will have until February 2023 to submit their questionnaires.
USDA estimates it will release the collected data in spring or summer of 2024.