Augusta Free Press

Only 45 percent of Virginia farmers have responded to the Census of Agriculture: But there’s still time

Farmers and ranchers still have time to respond to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Although the first deadline has just passed, NASS will continue to accept Census information through the spring to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture that represents all farmers and ranchers.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says that a lot is at stake for Virginia if producers are not represented in this data. To date, 45 percent of Virginia farmers have responded. Census data have and will continue to influence important decisions for American agriculture. The data will affect every operation and every farming community at some point, whether it be through farm policy, disaster relief, insurance or loan programs, infrastructure improvements or agribusiness setup. That is why NASS is committed to giving producers every opportunity to respond

Federal law mandates that everyone who received the 2017 Census of Agriculture questionnaire complete it and return it even if not currently farming. NASS will continue to follow-up with producers through the spring with mailings, phone calls and personal visits. To avoid these additional contacts, farmers and ranchers are encouraged to complete their Census either online or by mail as soon as possible. Responding online saves time by skipping sections that do not apply and automatically calculating totals. The online questionnaire is accessible on desktops, laptops and mobile devices.

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit For questions or assistance filling out the Census, call toll-free 888.424.7828 or call the Virginia Field Office at 800.772.0670.

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