Ag News

Look for 2017 Census of Agriculture surveys by end of year

Every five years, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts the Census of Agriculture to get a complete count of U.S. farms, ranches, and the people who operate them. And it’s that time again! Participation in the census is a producer’s voice, future, and opportunity to shape American agriculture – its policies, services, and assistance programs – for years to come.

The census provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agricultural data for every state and county (or county equivalent) in the nation. As such, census data are valuable to those who serve farmers and rural communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, researchers, and many others. 

To localize this a bit, the Census of Agriculture complements NASS’ annual estimation program. The annual program captures production forecasts for cotton and peanuts, as well as livestock inventory items.  The census provides demographic information and data on items that are not part of the annual program, such as citrus and agritourism in Georgia. In short, good data provide an understanding of current conditions as well as future trends and possibilities. Better data mean better decisions. Every response matters. 

Once producers receive their survey code in the mail, they’ll have the option to respond online at or by mail. Online reporting is fast, secure, and user-friendly. The online form, updated in 2017, can now be accessed by mobile phone, tablet, desk- or laptop. 

NASS is encouraging all producers to take a few minutes to complete the 2017 Census of Agriculture when it arrives later this year. Combined voices show the nation the value and importance of U.S. agriculture. Feb. 5, 2018, is the deadline to return census forms.

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit or call (800) 253-4419.