USDA sends preliminary survey for the 2017 Census of Agriculture

newspaperIn preparation for the 2017 Census of Agriculture, the USDA is sending surveys to 1 million potential farmers and ranchers nationwide.

Sandy Adams, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, encourages everyone who receives the survey to respond by the deadline of January 30, 2017. The results of the preliminary survey will determine who receives a census of agriculture questionnaire next December.

The census of agriculture, conducted every five years by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, is the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation. Through the census of agriculture, producers are able to demonstrate the value and importance of agriculture, and influence decisions that will shape the future of the industry in this country.

“Agriculture is Virginia’s largest private industry,” said Adams, “and we want to ensure full participation in the 2017 census. The census of agriculture is the leading source of facts about American agriculture. Farm organizations, businesses, government decision-makers, commodity market analysts, news media, researchers and so many others use census of agriculture data. We want to be sure that every farm in Virginia has a voice.”

The census of agriculture defines a farm as any place, big or small, that produces and sells, or could sell, $1,000 or more of agriculture products within a calendar year. All information reported by individuals is protected.

Data collection for the 2017 Census of Agriculture will begin in late 2017. For more information, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.

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