Farmers encouraged to sign up for next Ag Census

June 6, 2022 | 12:07 am

Updated June 5, 2022 | 6:16 pm

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All agriculture producers are being encouraged to be counted in the 2022 Census of Agriculture. The last day to sign up for this year’s Census is June 30.

“Whether you’re a large-scale operation or a small family farm, we want you to have a voice and be counted,” said Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles. “Kentucky is still very much an agricultural-based state and the Ag Census creates opportunities for the agricultural sector. Being counted allows you to have a voice about the future of agriculture and our state.”

The Census of Agriculture is a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Taken only once every five years, the Census looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income, and expenditures.

Information collected during the Census is the leading source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county or county equivalent. The data are used by all those who serve farmers and rural communities — federal, state, and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, and many others.

Quarles said farmers and ranchers can use data to make informed decisions about the future of their own operations. Companies and cooperatives use the data to determine where to locate facilities that will serve agricultural producers. Community planners use the information to target needed services to rural residents. Legislators use census data when shaping farm policies and programs.

Last conducted in 2017, the Census showed the market value of Kentucky agricultural products sold totaled $5.74 billion, up 13.2 percent from the previous ag census in 2012. The market value of livestock and poultry sold in 2017 was $3.2 billion, and the market value of crops sold came to $2.54 billion. Net cash farm income in 2017 was $1.58 billion.

Farmers who have never received a census and are new to National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) surveys can sign up here to be counted. You do not need to sign up if you already receive NASS surveys.

Information collected during the Census is confidential. NASS is bound by law to only use the information for statistical purposes. NASS publishes only aggregated data, not individual or farm-specific data.

June 6, 2022 | 12:07 am

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