Minnesota farmers and ranchers still have time to be counted in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Although the first deadline has passed, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will continue to accept Census information through the spring to get a complete and accurate assessment of American agriculture.
“Thank you to everyone who has completed their Census to date,” said Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to respond before things get busy this spring.”
Minnesota currently has a return rate of 47 percent of the 96,400 Census questionnaires mailed last fall. Every Census report is important. The results provide a complete account of the agricultural industry, its changes, and emerging trends.
Frederickson says through the Census, Minnesota producers can show the nation the value and importance of agriculture, and influence the decisions that will shape the future of American agriculture.
“The data are used by all those who serve farmers and rural communities — federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations and many others,” said Frederickson. “At the Minnesota Department of Agriculture we use Census results to develop priorities for new initiatives and existing programs.”
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 at www.agcounts.usda.gov or by mail as soon as possible. By filling out the Census online, respondents can save time 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 www.agcensus.usda.gov. For questions or assistance filling out the Census, call toll-free (888) 424-7828.
Dan Lofthus, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service