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census of agriculture

Preparing for the 2022 Census of Agriculture

Preparation for a large survey does not happen overnight, in a few weeks, or even a year. When it comes to USDA’s flagship data collection effort, the Census of Agriculture, this is especially true. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) started preparing for the 2022 Census of Agriculture in 2018, when NASS was collecting data for the 2017 Ag Census. NASS’s census, research, and methodology divisions immediately began evaluating content, design, and delivery of the census questionnaire and associated materials for possible improvement. This is the regular cycle of the vital, once-every-five-year Census of Agriculture.

Family Farms Continue to Power U.S. Agriculture

What do you think of when you hear the phrase family-owned business? You may not immediately think of the family farm, but they are just as important to our economy and communities. In fact, family farms account for 96% of all U.S. farms, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture Farm Typology report released last week by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). These farms – 1,789,439 small family farms, 108,304 mid-size family farms, and 52,592 large-scale family farms – collectively produced $318 billion worth of agricultural products in 2017.

Safe Agricultural Data Collection and Delivery

For over 150 years, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has been gathering accurate, timely and useful data in service to U.S. agriculture. We have many ways to collect information including from geospatial sources, administrative data from other agencies, and the familiar surveys of farms and ranches. All NASS surveys can be completed online but sometimes we need to reach out by phone or in-person.

Data Say…Dairy Has Changed

When I was younger, I loved to watch a cartoon on TV called ‘The Jetsons,’ which showed life in a future world. People had flying, self-driven “cars” and robotic housekeepers. As a kid who loved her meat and potatoes, I distinctly remember one scene in which Judy Jetson served a steak dinner by getting a pill from a vending-type machine. Her father, George Jetson, savored the two small bites filled with flavor and nutrition. This meal satisfied him completely. I couldn’t then imagine that futuristic dinner scene being a reality, and I still don’t. But technology, science, and marketing have changed the way we produce our food and have altered the structure of farming. Data tell us so. Let’s look at milk as an example.

At the Heart of The Buckeye State

Ever wonder where Ohio’s nickname came from? Ohio is commonly referred to as “The Buckeye State” due to the prevalence of the Ohio Buckeye, named Ohio’s official state tree in the 1950s. According to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the name refers to the tree’s nuts and their resemblance to the eye of a deer. But don’t eat these nuts! NRCS warns that all parts of the Ohio Buckeye are toxic to humans and livestock. Luckily there are many other things we can eat that come out of this great state.

Every Day is Earth Day for Ag Producers

After a trip to Colorado’s Pikes Peak in 1893, Katharine Lee Bates wrote the lyrics to “America the Beautiful.” The memorable words paint a sensory-rich picture of “amber waves” and “fruited plains” that celebrate our land and the true wealth of any nation – agriculture. Today, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, the United States has more than 900 million acres of land in farms; that’s 40% of all U.S. land. And we rely on the 3.4 million producers, around 1% of our population, to manage that land and provide food, feed, fiber and fuel for our nation and the world.

NASS Builds Its Future on 150-Year Foundation of Agricultural Statistics

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is well known for being the gold standard for U.S. agricultural data that can help you in your work. We are proud of our reputation for providing useful, accurate data in service to U.S. agriculture for more than 150 years. When extension agents or farm associations write grants to advance agricultural research, they turn to NASS data. When farmers and ranchers want to compare their operation to others or gather unbiased information for marketing decisions, they can turn to NASS data. And when local governments and ag associations are looking to tout the importance of agriculture in their county or state, they turn to NASS data.

Mississippi Rises to the Top of U.S. Aquaculture

Agriculture continues to be Mississippi’s top industry for revenue generated in the Magnolia State. Poultry is Mississippi’s largest agricultural commodity, leading as the most valuable livestock product including eggs-layers with sales valued at $3.1 billion. The 2017 Census of Agriculture showed that producers raised and sold $6.2 billion in crops and livestock.

Family Farms Flourish in Sweet Grown Alabama

Families are the cornerstone of agriculture in Alabama (PDF, 947 KB) where 97% of farms counted in the recent 2017 Census of Agriculture are family owned. Although the number of farms in Alabama decreased 6% from 2012, the average size of farms increased 3%, mirroring a trend seen in states across the nation. With 73% of farms connected to the Internet, Alabama farms and ranches continue to reach others across the globe.