This November, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will begin mailing the 2022 Census of Agriculture to all known ag producers across the U.S. and Puerto Rico to gather information about America’s farms and ranches and the people who operate them. The ag census, conducted every five years, remains the only source of comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every state, county, and U.S. territory.
By responding, producers have a voice in the decisions that will shape the future of American agriculture. Decision-makers at federal and local levels use ag census data to make determinations about farm programs and services, policies, disaster assistance, research, technology development, education, community planning, agribusiness setup and more. Producers often use the data when making decisions about marketing and production practices.
The ag census shows the value of U.S. agriculture and tracks trends over time. For example, the 2017 Census of Agriculture found that new and beginning producers (those who have farmed for 10 years or less) increased by 17%, though the increase occurred among producers with less than five years on their current farm. The number of young producers (ages 35 or younger) increased 11%. The 2022 ag census data will provide insight into today’s agriculture, including data on producers based on race, ethnicity and gender. For example, female-operated farms increased 23% from the 2012 ag census. The number of Hispanic producers increased 13% from 2012 to 2017, Asian and Black producers both increased 5%, and American Indian/Alaska Native producers increased 10%.
New data topics in the 2022 Census of Agriculture reflect some of the trends and changes in U.S. agriculture. Look for new questions about the use of precision agriculture, hemp production, and hair sheep.
Every response matters. Help NASS spread the word. To learn more about the 2022 Census of Agriculture, visit nass.usda.gov/AgCensus. Follow NASS on Twitter @usda_nass for the latest information. Data from the 2022 Census of Agriculture will be released in early 2024.