Ag statistics service seeks data from farmers, ranchers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service is wrapping up data collection for the 2017 Census of Agriculture.

To stay on track for data release in February 2019, the deadline for submitting the paper questionnaire is Friday. Farmers and ranchers who have not responded by then still have until the end of July to complete the Census online through the secure website found on the cover of their Census form. Phone follow-up and personal interviews also will continue through July.

“The Census of Agriculture provides the only source of comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation,” said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. “These data are used to make important local, state and national decisions that will have a very real impact on farmers, ranchers, agricultural operations and rural communities. I encourage producers to respond online or to send in their paper form today.”

Greg Matli, Indiana state statistician, reminds farmers and ranchers that the questionnaire needs to be completed by everyone who received a form, including landowners who lease land to producers, those involved in conservation programs, even those who may have received the Census and do not farm.

“Our mission at NASS is to provide data in service to U.S. agriculture,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “We extended the original Census deadline because many producers weren’t counted, and if they aren’t represented in these critical data, they afarm programs, disaster assistance, agricultural research, education, local policies and business. This is why it is imperative that we hear from everyone.”

Federal law, Title 7 USC 2204(g) Public Law 105-113, requires NASS to keep all information confidential, to use the data only for statistical purposes and to only publish in aggregate form to prevent disclosing the identity of any individual producer or farm operation.

For information or to respond online, visit For questions about or assistance with filling out the Census, call 855-270-2709.