Farmers Urged to Participate in the Ag Census
Looking around eastern Union County, it is obvious that agriculture plays a huge role in our county. Not only are we ranked #3 in cash receipts in North Carolina, we are ranked #1 for wheat and soybeans and #3 for broilers and layers out of 100 NC counties.
How could anyone know that? The Ag Census plays a huge part in knowing how we compare to other counties across our state and nation. Why is that important? There are many reasons to consider.
The Census provides much needed information and input for ag planning and decision making by the US Department of Agriculture in regard to ag research, conservation programs, new technologies, rural economic development, production practices, telecommunications expansion, transportation and marketing, military veteran farmer programs, and the Farm Bill.
The Census also gives farmers a voice, telling their story of how they provide food, fuel, fiber and feed to the world. According to the USDA, “The Census is the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every state, county, or county equivalent in the nation.
By participating in the Census, you help show the value and importance of U.S. Agriculture.”
It is sometimes hard to imagine that commodities grown right here in Union County might end up on a table across the country, or in other countries. So of course, we need to have a voice in decisions that our leaders make about agriculture!
How can you be a part of making a difference and sharing that voice? Participate in the Census, every five years. If you are still unsure, here are some of the FAQs about the Ag Census.
- What is considered a farm to the Census? A farm is any location that produced and sold, or normally would sell, $1,000 or more of ag products during the Census year.
- Will the information collected be kept confidential? Yes. Results are tallied and available in aggregate form only. No individual operation can be identified in Census data collected.
- How often is the Census done? Every five years there is an Ag Census taken. It is a comprehensive count of all US farms and ranches, and all commodities are included.
- Do I have to respond to the Census? If you receive a Census of Ag form in the mail, response is required by law.
- When will the Census happen? Forms were mailed in December 2017, and must be completed by the form or online by February 2018. In February, 2019 Census data will be released by the National Agricultural Statistic Service (NASS).
- Can I respond to the Census online? Yes! Visit the following site for online responses to the Census: www.agcounts.usda.gov
- Where can I go for general info and questions about the Census? Questions can be asked by calling 888-424-7828, or by visiting: www.agcensus.usda.gov
More information can be collected at the NC Cooperative Extension – Union County Center, located at 3230-D Presson Road, Monroe.