Every five years the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts the Census of Agriculture, which provides a complete count of all farms and ranches — and the people who operate them — in the United States. The 2017 Census will be mailed at the end of this year.
The Census highlights:
- Land use
- Land ownership
- Operator characteristics
- Production practices
As such, the confidential data compiled by the Census is, according to NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer, “heavily relied upon by those who serve farmers and rural communities,” including all levels of government, educators, researchers, agribusinesses, trade associations and those who operate agricultural enterprises. California avocado growers are encouraged to participate in the Census as the data is used to shape the policies, services and assistance programs that affect those in the agricultural industry.
Growers who are new to farming, or those who did not receive a 2012 Census of Agriculture may sign up, through June, to receive the 2017 Census at www.agcensus.usda.gov. Click on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted’ button.
Growers have the option of completing the 2017 Census of Agriculture online. In order to do so, growers will need the 17-digit survey code located on the survey mailing label they receive. The online survey is designed to save time, allowing growers to skip questions that do not apply to them. The online survey also calculates totals automatically and provides drop-down menus for common answers. A partially completed online Census survey can be saved and then completed at a later date.